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THE SWALLOW AND THE SPIDER. Jean de La Fontaine

"O Jupiter! who from thy regal brow
Drew forth Minerva, my old enemy,
List to the prayer of a poor Spider now;
Listen, I pray to thee.
Progne here and there, all day, and everywhere,
Ever skimming, flitting, fifty times a day,
Passes by me sitting in my trimly woven lair;
Passes by me impudent, and bears away my prey:
Yes, swallows up the flies that are crowding to my net,
Which with skilful patience ′tween the laurel boughs I′ve set."
Thus the Spider, who of yore so artistically wove,
But now reduced in rank to the state of humble spinner,
Regarding every fly as hers of right for dinner,
Complained in noisy accents unto all-deciding Jove.
But in spite of this harangue,
Still Philomel′s swift sister sprang
Past the luckless Spider′s door,
Ever with her main and might,
And with pitiless delight,
Bearing to her brood incessantly the food,
Which the clamorous little gluttons demanded more and more.
But sad it is to tell! still worse was yet to come,
For the Swallow, skimming, flitting,
Spied the Spider sadly sitting,
And snatched her hanging helpless from her once well-ordered
home.

In this world here below, it is Jupiter′s plan
Two tables to spread for two different classes;
At the one feasts the skilful, strong, vigilant man,
At t′other starve feeble and ignorant masses.

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