HomeJean de La FontaineTHE FROGS WHO ASKED FOR A KING

THE FROGS WHO ASKED FOR A KING. Jean de La Fontaine

Of Democrats the Frogs grew tired,
And unto Monarchy aspired;
Clamour so loud, that from a cloud
Great Jove in pity dropped a King,
Silent and peaceful, all allowed;
And yet he fell with such a splash, the thing
Quite terrified those poor marsh folks,
Not fond of jokes,
Foolish and timid, all from him hid;
And each one brushes

To hide in reeds, or sneak in rushes;
And from their swampy holes, poor little souls!
For a long time they dared not peep
At the great giant, still asleep.
And yet the monarch of the bog
Was but a LOG,
Whose solemn gravity inspired with awe
The first who venturing saw:
He hobbled somewhat near,
With trembling and with fear;
Then others followed, and another yet,
Until a crowd there met;
At last the daring mob grew bolder,
And leaped upon the royal shoulder;
Good man, he did not take it ill,
But as before kept still.
Soon Jupiter is deafened with the din—
"Give us a king who′ll move," they all begin.
The monarch of the gods sends down a Crane,
Who with a vengeance comes to reign.
He gobbles and he munches,
He sups and lunches;
Till louder still the Frogs complain.
"Why, see!" great Jupiter replied,
"How foolishly you did decide.
You′d better kept your first—the last is worst.
You must allow, if you are fair,
King Log was calm and debonair:
With him, then, be ye now content,
For fear a third, and worse, be sent."

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