22 THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE.
Himself as little known to fame,—
The wrestler's praise was rather tame.
The poet, having made the most of
Whate'er his hero had to boast of,
Digressed, by choice that was not all luck's.
To Castor and his brother Pollux,
Whose bright career was subject ample,
For wrestlers, sure, a good example.
Our poet fattened on their story,
Gave every fight its place and glory,
Till of his panegyric words
These deities had got two-thirds.
All done, the poets fee
A talent was to be.
But when he comes his bill to settle,
The wrestler, with a spice of mettle,
Pays down a third, and tells the poet,
'The balance they may pay who owe it.
The gods than I are rather debtors
To such a pious man of letters.
But still I shall be greatly pleased
To have your presence at my feast,
Among a knot of guests select,
My kin, and friends I most respect'
More fond of character than coffer,
Simonides accepts the offer.
While at the feast the party sit,
And wine provokes the flow of wit,