HomeJean de La FontaineTHE BIRD-CATCHER, THE HAWK, AND THE SKYLARK

THE BIRD-CATCHER, THE HAWK, AND THE SKYLARK. Jean de La Fontaine

Injustice, and false people′s wilful crimes,
Serve others as excuses, oftentimes,
For fresh injustice. Nature′s law′s planned so;
If you wish to be spared, then give no blow.

A Countryman, with glittering looking-glass,
Was catching birds. The brilliant phantom lured
A Lark; when, suddenly, it came to pass
A Sparrow Hawk, of its sweet prey assured,
Dropped from the cloud, and struck swift to the ground
The gentlest bird that sings; though near the tomb,
She had escaped the trap; yet now she found
Beneath that cruel beak at last her doom.
Whilst stripping her, eager and all intent,
The Hawk itself beneath the net was caught.
"Fowler," he cried, "no harm I ever meant:
I never did thee ill, nor ever sought
To do." The man replied, "This helpless thing
Had done no more to thee;—no murmuring!"


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