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The Stag and the Vine

(Recueil 1, Livre 5, Fable 15)



A stag, by favour of a vine,

Which grew where suns most genial shine,

And formed a thick and matted bower

Which might have turned a summer shower,

Was saved from ruinous assault.

The hunters thought their dogs at fault,

And called them off. In danger now no more

The stag, a thankless wretch and vile,

Began to browse his benefactress over.

The hunters, listening the while,

The rustling heard, came back,

With all their yelping pack,

And seized him in that very place.

"This is," said he, "but justice, in my case.

Let every black ingrate

Henceforward profit by my fate."

The dogs fell to—'twere wasting breath

To pray those hunters at the death.

They left, and we will not revile them,

A warning for profaners of asylum.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 5, Fable 15



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