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THE PARTRIDGE AND THE FOWLS. Jean de La Fontaine

Once to a red-legged Partridge it befell
Amongst a lot of fighting Cocks to dwell.
Now, as the latter are a gallant race,
Fighting with pleasure for a dame′s embrace,
The Partridge hoped that she would treated be,
By these brave birds, with hospitality.
But soon, alas! her hopes were cross′d,
For oft, by angry passions toss′d,
Her fiery hosts, with spur and beak,
Would tear her plumage, brown and sleek.
At first, this grieved the Partridge much;
But when, as soon she did, she saw her foes
Inflicting on each other equal woes,
She ceased to blame them; "For," said she, "they′re such
As Jupiter has made them; and we know
That he has planted many various creatures here below:
The Partridge, mild; the Game-cock, rude and wild.
If I could be as I would be,
I′d pass my life in gentle company.
But what avails these vain regrets?
The master here takes Partridges in nets,
And forces them to live with Fowls. We owe
To man, and not to Nature, all our woe."

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