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THE HARE THE PARTRIDGE. Jean de La Fontaine

One should not mock the wretched. Who can tell
He will be always happy? Fortune changes,
Wise Æsop, in his fables, taught this well.
My story is like his—which very strange is,
The Hare and Partridge shared the selfsame clover,
And lived in peace and great tranquillity,
Till one day, racing all the meadows over,
The huntsmen came, and forced the Hare to flee,
And seek his hiding-place. The dogs, put out,
Were all astray: yes, even Brifaut erred,
Until the scent betrayed. A lusty shout
Arouses Miraut, who then loud averred,
From philosophic reasoning, ′twas the Hare,
And ardently pushed forward the pursuit.
Rustaut, who never lied, saw clearly where
Had homeward turned again the frightened brute.
Poor wretch! it came to its old form to die.
The cruel Partridge, bitter taunting, said,
"You boasted of your fleetness; now, then, try
Your nimble feet." Soon was that scorn repaid:
While she still laughed, the recompense was near.
She thought her wings would save her from man′s jaws.
Poor creature! there was worse than that to fear:
The swooping Goshawk came with cruel claws.

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