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MAN AND THE WOODEN IDOL. Jean de La Fontaine

A certain Pagan had a god of wood—
Deaf was the idol, yet had ears enough;
The Pagan promised to himself much good.
It cost as much as three men; for his fears
Induced repeated vows and offerings;
Fat oxen crowned with garlands and such things.
Never an idol—think of that—
Boasted of victims half as fat.
Yet all this worship brought no grace,
Treasure or legacy, or luck at play;
What′s more, if any single storm came near the place,
This man was sure to have to pay;
Yet all the time the god dined well. Now, was this fair?
At last, impatient at the costly care,
He takes a crowbar, and the Idol smashes
Forth comes a stream of gold.
"I feasted you with offerings manifold,
And you were never worth an obolus to me;
Now leave," he said, "my hospitality,
Seek out another altar. I hold thee
One of those gross and stupid creatures
With wicked and untoward natures
Whose gratitude can never grow;
But after many a heavy blow,
The more I gave the less I got; I own
It′s very well I changed my tone."

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