12 THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE. And said, ' My friends, the freedom let me take To prophesy a little, for your sake, Against this dangerous seed. Though such a bird as I Knows how to hide or fly, You birds a caution need. See you that wavmg hand ? It scatters on the land What well may cause alarm. 'T will grow to nets and snares, To catch you unawares And work you fatal harm ! Great multitudes, I fear, Of you, my birdies dear, That falling seed, so little, Will bring to cage or ketde ! But though so perilous the plot, You now may easily defeat it : All 'lighting on the seeded spot, ' Just scratch up every seed and eat it.' The little birds took litde heed. So fed were they with other seed. Anon the field was seen Bedecked in tender green. The swallow's warning voice was heard again : ' My friends, the product of that deadly grain Seize now, and pull it root by root, Or surely you '11 repent its fruit.'
Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/80
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