Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/103

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BOOK ONE. 33 That we might, in the Turkish mode, Have simple common sense for code 1 They then were short and cheap affairs, Instead of stretching on Hke ditches, Ingulfing in their course all riches, — The parties leaving, for their shares, The shells (and shells there might be moister) From which the court has sucked the oyster.^ XXII. THE OAK AND THE REED.^ The oak one day addressed the reed :

  • To you ungenerous indeed

Has nature been, my humble friend, With weakness aye obliged to bend. The smallest bird that flits in air Is quite too much for you to bear ; The slightest wind that wreathes the lake Your ever- trembling head doth shake. The while, my towering form Dares with the mountain top The solar blaze to stop, And wrestle with the storm. What seems to you the blast of death To me is but a zephyr's breath. Beneath my branches had you grown, That spread far round their friendly bower, VOL. I. — 3