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FORTUNE AND THE LITTLE CHILD. Jean de La Fontaine

Beside a well profoundly deep
A Schoolboy laid him down to sleep.
Ere care has racked with aches the head,
The hardest bank ′s a feather bed;
A grown-up man, in such a case,
Had leaped a furlong from the place.
Happy for him, just then came by
Fortune, and saw him heedless lie.
She woke him softly, speaking mild:
"I′ve saved your life, you see, my child.
Another time you close your eyes,
Be just a little bit more wise.
If you had fallen down below,
′Twould have been laid to me, I know,
Though your own fault; and now, I pray,
Before I take myself away,
In honest truth you′ll own the same,
For I was hardly here to blame.
It was not my caprice or joke."
The goddess vanished as she spoke.

And she was right; for never yet
Have any a misfortune met,
But Fortune′s blamed: she has to pay
For our misdoings every day.
For all mad, foolish, ill-planned schemes
We try to justify our dreams
By rating her with curses strong.
In one word, Fortune′s always wrong.

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