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THE WOLF AND THE STARVED DOG. Jean de La Fontaine

Once on a time, a little Carp to man
Preached all in vain; they put him in the pan.
And I repeat, ′tis foolish to let slip
The glass that′s full, and half way to the lip,
In hopes of better wine. The fish was wrong;
The fisherman was right, his reason strong.
One speaks out boldly when a life′s to save;
It needs some eloquence King Death to waive;
But still I hold I′m right, and don′t demur,
If from my former text I do not stir.
A Wolf, less wise than our good fisherman,
Meeting a Dog outside the village, ran
To bear him off. The poor Dog pleaded hard
That he was thin, and not worth his regard.
"My lord, I shall not please you, that is pat;
Wait till the marriage, I shall then grow fat
And quite myself—when master′s daughter′s wed."
The Wolf believed all that the terrier said.
The day expired; he came with faith to see
If good had come from this festivity.
To Wolf without the Dog spoke through the gate:
"Friend, I am coming, if you′ll only wait;
The porter of our lodge is coming, too,
We′ll soon be ready, sir, to wait on you."
The porter was a mastiff, you must know,
Ready to crunch up wolves, and at one blow.
The caller paused: "Your servant I remain,"
He said, and ran and sought the wood again;
Swift, but not clever: the remark was made,
"This Wolf was not a master of his trade."

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