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THE EAGLE AND THE MAGPIE. Jean de La Fontaine

The Eagle, queen of the broad sky,
Met, one day, in a field, the Pie—
In mind and language different,
In plumage, and in every bent.
Chance brought them into a by way:
The Magpie was afraid to stay.
The Eagle, having dined but lately,
Assured her calmly and sedately.
"Come, let′s be social," said the Eagle, then;
"And if the lord of gods and men
Sometimes is weary of the king
Who rules the universe, the thing
Is clear, that ennui may e′en vex
One who serves Jove. Amuse me!—come,
And chatter as you do at home;
It is not me you will perplex."
The Pie began at once to gabble
On this and that, on lords and rabble;
Just like the man in Horace—just,
Good, bad, indifferent, all on trust;
Talking incessant, and still worse
Than the poor fool in the famed verse.
She offers, if it please his grace,
To skip about, and watch each place
He wishes. Jove knows that the Pie
Was well constructed for a spy.
The eagle answers, angrily,
"Don′t leave your home, my tattling friend.
Adieu! I have no wish to send
A gossip to corrupt my court,
And spread each lying, false report:
I hate a gossip." Quite content,
Maggy cared little where she went.
To dwell among the gods or kings
Is not the pleasantest of things;
That honour has its pangs also.
Detractors, spies, and many a foe,
Gracious and bland enough in face,
But false in heart, infest each place,
And make you odious. In courts wear
Coats of two colours, or take care.

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