HomeJean de La FontaineTHE ACORN AND THE GOURD

THE ACORN AND THE GOURD. Jean de La Fontaine

All that Jove does is wise and good,
I need not travel far abroad
To make this maxim understood,
But take example from a Gourd.

Observing once a pumpkin,
Of bulk so huge on stem so small,
"What meant he," cried a bumpkin,
"Great Jove, I mean, who made us all,
By such an act capricious?
If my advice were asked by Heaven,
To yonder oaks the gourds were given,
And ′twould have been judicious;
For sure it is good taste to suit
To monstrous trees a monstrous fruit.
And truly, Tony, had but he
Whom the priests talk of asked of me
Advice on here and there a point,
Things would not be so out of joint.
For why, to take this plain example,
Should not the Acorn here be hung—
For it this tiny stem is ample—
Whilst on the oak the pumpkin swung?
The more I view this sad abortion
Of all the laws of true proportion,
The more I′m sure the Lord of Thunder
Has made a very serious blunder."
Teased by this matter, Tony cries,
"One soon grows weary when one′s wise;"
Then dozing ′neath an oak he lies.
Now, as he slept, an Acorn fell
Straight on his nose, and made it swell.
At once awake, he seeks to trace
With eager hand what hurt his face,
And in his beard the Acorn caught,
Discovers what the pain had wrought.
And now, by injured nose induced,
Our friend takes up a different tone—
"I bleed, I bleed!" he makes his moan,
"And all is by this thing produced:
But, oh! if from the tree, instead,
A full-grown Gourd had struck my head!
Ah! Jove, most wise, has made decree
That Acorns only deck the tree,
And now I quite the reason see."

Thus in a better frame of mind
Homeward went our honest hind.

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