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THE LABOURING MAN AND HIS CHILDREN. Jean de La Fontaine

Work, work, with all your might and main,
For labour brings the truest gain.

A wealthy Labourer lay near to death;
And, summoning his children round the bed,
He thus addressed them, with his latest breath:
"Part not with my estate when I am dead.
My parents left me what I leave to you.
About the place a treasure lies concealed,
No matter where,—search every corner through,
Nor leave a spot unturned in any field.
Go, seek it from the morning till the night."
Their father dead, the loving sons fulfilled
The dying wish, that made their labour light:
From end to end the fields were duly tilled.
The harvest was enormous, though they found
No golden treasures, howsoever small.
And yet the father′s last advice was sound,
For Labour is a treasure, after all.

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