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The Raven and the Fox

(Recueil 1, Livre 1, Fable 2)



Perched on a lofty oak,

Sir Raven held a lunch of cheese;

Sir Fox, who smelt it in the breeze,

Thus to the holder spoke:

"Ha! how do you do, Sir Raven?

Well, your coat, sir, is a brave one!

So black and glossy, on my word, sir,

With voice to match, you were a bird, sir,

Well fit to be the Phoenix of these days."

Sir Raven, overset with praise,

Must show how musical his croak.

Down fell the luncheon from the oak;

Which snatching up, Sir Fox thus spoke:

"The flatterer, my good sir,

Aye lives on his listener;

Which lesson, if you please,

Is doubtless worth the cheese."

A bit too late, Sir Raven swore

The rogue should never cheat him more.

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 1, Fable 2



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