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DISCORD. Jean de La Fontaine

DISCORD. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

DISCORD. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

Discord, who had the gods entangled
About an apple—how they wrangled!—
Was driven from the skies at last,
And to that animal came fast
That they call Man; her brother, too,
"Whether or no," who long′d to view
Our ball of earth. Her father came—
Old "Thine and Mine"—the very same.
She did much honour to our sphere
By longing so much to be here;
She cared not for the other race
Who watch us from aerial space—
We were gross folk, not tamed the least,
Who married without law or priest—
Discord no business had at all:
The proper places where to call
Scandal has orders to find out;
She, a right busy, active scout,
Falls quick to quarrel and debates,
And always Peace anticipates:
Blows up a spark into a blaze,
Not to burn out for many days.
Scandal, at length, complain′d she found
No refuge certain above ground,
And often lost her precious time:
She must have shelter in this clime—
A point from whence she could send forth
Discord, west, east, or south, or north.
There were no nunneries then, you see:
That made it difficult, may be.
The inn of Wedlock was assign′d
At last, and suited Scandal′s mind.

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