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THE SICK STAG. Jean de La Fontaine

THE SICK STAG. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

THE SICK STAG. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

In a land where stags abounded,
One fell very sick indeed;
And he saw his bed surrounded
By a dozen "friends in need."
"Gentlemen!" he muttered, "leave me,
Leave me, I implore, to fate:
Since your tears can only grieve me,
And your solace comes too late."
Not a bit;—their lamentations
Lasted for a week, or more;

While they took their daily rations
From his very scanty store.
Bit by bit his food diminished,
Under such attacks as these;
Till the sufferer′s course was finished
By starvation—not disease.

For comforters of every kind
Some fee is necessary, mind;
And nobody will give advice,
Or shed a tear, without his price.

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