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THE WAX CANDLE. Jean de La Fontaine

From heaven the Bees came down, they say,
And on Hymettus′ top, one day,
Settled, and from sweet Zephyr′s flowers
Stole all the treasures and strange powers;
And when th′ ambrosia from each field,
Long in their store-rooms close concealed,
Was, to speak simple French, all taken,
And the mere empty comb forsaken,
Many Wax Tapers, from it made,
Were sold by those to whom that trade
Belongs. One of these Candles, long and thick,
Seeing clay hardened into brick
By fire, made to endure for aye,
Like an Empedocles, to die,
Resolved to perish in the flame.
A foolish martyr, seeking fame,
He leaped in headlong. Reasoning vain:
Small wisdom in his empty brain.
No human being′s like another:
One cannot argue from one′s brother.
Empedocles burnt up like paper;
Yet wasn′t madder than this Taper.

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