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THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK. Jean de La Fontaine

"Alas! I see another one
Of my poor foolish flock is gone!
The wolf, relentless, day by day,
Makes still another sheep his prey.
In vain I count them, oft and oft—
Ten times a hundred; they′re so soft,
That they have let my Bob be torn
By wolfish jaws. Ah! me, forlorn!
My darling Bob would follow me,
In town or in the country, up and down,
O′er all the world, with tread for tread,
If I but showed a bit of bread.
A furlong off my step he knew,
And to my piping time kept true.
Alas! poor Bobby!" When, at last,
This funeral discourse had past,
And Robin′s fame was duly sounded,
The Shepherd, by his flock surrounded,
Addressed them all, ram, lamb, and sheep,
And said, that if they′d only keep
United, never wolf would dare
Their woolly-coated throats to tear.
The flock declared, with solemn bleat,
They all their master′s views would meet,
Form ever one united band,
And chase Sir Wolf from out the land.
Delighted at their brave reply,
Guillot regaled them sumptuously.
But, sad to say, before the night,
There happened a disaster new.
A horrid wolf appeared in sight,
And off the timid creatures flew.
In truth ′twas a mere shadow, but
The ant′s a wolf in Lilliput.

Bad soldiers you in vain address;
Heroic aims they all profess;
But let the slightest danger show,
In spite of generals, off they go.

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