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THE STAG AND THE VINE. Jean de La Fontaine

A Stag behind a lofty Vine took shelter
(Such vines are met with in a southern clime);
Hunters and hounds pursued him helter-skelter,
And searched and searched, but only lost their time.
The huntsmen laid, as might have been expected,
Upon the shoulders of their dogs the blame,
The Stag, forgetting he had been protected,
Vastly ungrateful all at once became;
Upon the friendly Vine he made a dinner;
But hounds and hunters soon came back again.

Discovered quickly—now the leaves were thinner—
The Stag, of course, got set upon and slain.
"I merit this!" exclaimed the dying glutton;
"Ingratitude, like pride, must have a fall:"
Another gasp, and he was dead as mutton;
And no one present pitied him at all.

How oft is hospitality rewarded
By deeds ungrateful as the one recorded!

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