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THE LIONESS AND SHE-BEAR. Jean de La Fontaine

A Mother Lion had lost her young:
A hunter had stolen her cub away;
And from the dawn, when the gay birds sung,
All through the shadeless hours of day,
She filled the forest with huge dismay;
Nor did the night, with its silent charms,
Still the voice of this childless mother′s alarms.
At length a She-Bear rose, and said,
"Do you ever think of the children dead,
By your paws and jaws so cruelly slain?
Yet their mothers silent still remain;
And why not you?" The beast replied,
"My child is lost, perhaps has died;
And nothing for me now is left
But a life of hope bereft."
"And what condemns you to this wretched fate?"
"Fate!" echoed then the beast disconsolate.
From since the time the world a world became,
All living things have thought or said the same.

You wretched mortals, who bewail
That over you Fate′s darkest cloud is thrown,
Just think of Hecuba′s sad tale,
Then thank the gods that it is not your own.


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