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The Two Friends

(Recueil 2, Livre 8, Fable 11)



Two friends, in Monomotapa,

Had all their interests combined.

Their friendship, faithful and refined,

Our country can't exceed, do what it may.

One night, when potent Sleep had laid

All still within our planet's shade,

One of the two gets up alarmed,

Runs over to the other's palace,

And hastily the servants rallies.

His startled friend, quick armed,

With purse and sword his comrade meets,

And thus right kindly greets:

"You seldom com'st at such an hour;

I take you for a man of sounder mind

Than to abuse the time for sleep designed.

Have lost your purse, by Fortune's power?

Here's mine. Have suffered insult, or a blow,

I have here my sword to avenge it let us go."

"No," said his friend, "no need I feel

Of either silver, gold, or steel;

I thank you for your friendly zeal.

In sleep I saw you rather sad,

And thought the truth might be as bad.

Unable to endure the fear,

That cursed dream has brought me here."

Which think you, reader, loved the most!

If doubtful this, one truth may be proposed:

There's nothing sweeter than a real friend:

Not only is he prompt to lend

An angler delicate, he fishes

The very deepest of your wishes,

And spares your modesty the task

His friendly aid to ask.

A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear,

When pointing at the object dear.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 8, Fable 11



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