20 THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE. While musing deeply on this sight, Another dragon came to light,- Whose single head avails To lead a hundred tails : And, seized with juster fright, I saw him pass the hedge, — Head, body, tails, — a wedge Of living and resistless powers. — The other was your emperor's force : this ours.' XIII. THE THIEVES AND THE ASS.^^ Two thieves, pursuing their profession, Had of a donkey got possession, Whereon a strife arose, Which went from words to blows. The question was, to sell, or not to sell ; But while our sturdy champions fought it well. Another thief, who chanced to pass, With ready wit rode off the ass. This ass is, by interpretation, Some province poor, or prostrate nation. The thieves are princes this and that, On spoils and plunder prone to fat, —
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