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THE KITE AND THE NIGHTINGALE. Jean de La Fontaine

A Daring thief, a Kite by name,
Spread dire alarm o′er hill and dale.
E′en little children cried, "For shame!"
When he pounced on a Nightingale.

The bird of Spring for life prayed well—
"I′m fit for songs, and not for eating;
Oh, hear my notes, and I will tell
My tale of Tyreus, still repeating."

"Tyreus! is that good food?" then said
The Kite. "No, no;" was the reply;
"He was a mighty king, who made
His love to me, with vow and sigh.

"His cruel love was strong: too strong!
′Twas mad—′twas criminal: now, sire,
Let me transport you with my song;
A song so sweet you must admire."

Not having eaten all the day,
The Kite had other views of things.
Thus—"What′s the use of music, pray?
I, too, can talk of mighty kings.

"When you take kings—or kings take you—
Sing to them and their pretty dears;
I′m hungry, and know what to do—
An empty stomach has no ears."


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