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THE LITTLE FISH AND THE FISHERMAN. Jean de La Fontaine

A little Fish will larger grow, in time,
If God will only grant him life; and yet
To let him free out of the tangling net
Is folly; and I mean it, though I rhyme:
The catching him again is not so sure, c′est tout.
A little Carp, who half a summer knew,
Was taken by an angler′s crafty hook.
"All count," the man said; "this begins my feast:
I′ll put it in my basket." "Here, just look!"
Exclaimed, in his own way, the tiny beast.
"Now what on earth can you, sir, want with me?
I′m not quite half a mouthful, as you see.
Let me grow up, and catch me when I′m tall,
Then some rich epicure will buy me dear;
But now you′ll want a hundred, that is plain,
Aye, and as much again,
To make a dish; and what dish, after all?
Why, good for nothing." "Good for nothing, eh?"
Replied the Angler. "Come, my little friend,
Into the pan you go; so end.
Your sermon pleases me, exceedingly.
To-night we′ll try
How you will fry."

The present, not the future, tense
Is that preferred by men of sense.
The one is sure that you have got:
The other, verily, is not.

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