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DEATH AND THE UNHAPPY MAN. Jean de La Fontaine

DEATH AND THE UNHAPPY MAN. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

DEATH AND THE UNHAPPY MAN. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

A Miserable Man incessant prayed
To Death for aid.
"Oh, Death!" he cried. "I love thee as a friend!
Come quickly, and my life′s long sorrows end!"
Death, wishing to oblige him, ran,
Knocked at the door, entered, and eyed the man.
"What do I see? begone, thou hideous thing!
The very sight
Strikes me with horror and affright!
Begone, old Death!—Away, thou grisly King!"
Mecænas (hearty fellow) somewhere said;
"Let me be gouty, crippled, impotent and lame,
′Tis all the same.
So I but keep on living. Death, thou slave!
Come not at all, and I shall be content."
And that was what the man I mention meant.


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