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THE TORRENT AND THE RIVER. Jean de La Fontaine

With a roar and a dreadful sound,
The Torrent dashed down the rock.
All fled from its mighty bound;
And horror followed the shock,
Shaking the fields around.

No Traveller dared essay
To cross the Torrent, save one,
Who, meeting thieves by the way,
And, finding all chances gone,
Rode straight through the foam and spray.

No depth! All menace and din!
The Traveller drew his breath
With courage, and laughed within
Himself at escape from death;
But the thieves resolved to win.

His path they pursue and keep,
Till he comes to a River clear,
Peaceful and tranquil as sleep,
And as far removed from fear:
Its banks are in no way steep.

But pure and glistening sand
Border the placid wave;
He leaves the dangerous land,
To find a treacherous grave:
It was deep, you′ll understand.

He drinks of the awful Styx,
For deepest waters are still.
Beware of quiet men′s tricks;
But for noisy men—they will
Battle with words, not sticks.

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