Page:Fables by La Fontaine translated by Elizur Wright.djvu/91

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BOOK ONE. It is announced that at the gate Two men, in haste that cannot wait, Would see the bard. He leaves the table, No loss at all to 'ts noisy gabble. The men were Leda's twins, who knew What to a poet's praise was due, And, thanking, paid him by foretelling The downfall of the wrestler's dwelling. From which ill-fated pile, indeed, No sooner was the poet freed, Than, props and pillars failing, Which held aloft the ceiling So splendid o'er them, It downward loudly crashed, The plates and flagons dashed, And men who bore them ; And, what was worse, Full vengeance for the man of verse, A timber broke the wrestler's thighs, And wounded many otherwise. The gossip Fame, of course, took care Abroad to publish this affair. 'A miracle ! ' the public cried, delighted. No more could god-beloved bard be slighted. His verse now brought him more than double, With neither duns, nor care, nor trouble. Whoe'er laid claim to noble birth Must buy his ancestors a slice,