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The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/The Laughing Solitaire

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FABLE XV.
THE LAUGHING SOLITAIRE.

       Throughout all Greece 'twas known
       That Mysone lived alone—
That he lov'd wisdom for herself;
Was free from trouble as from pelf;
Content and easy, without strife,
Reflecting on the things of life.

In woods retir'd he pass'd his days,
Far from the crowd's accustom'd ways.
       But in this solitude,
Where nothing trivial might intrude,
He would at times quite jovial be,
And laugh out loud and merrily.
At length one day two Grecians came,
Attracted by his laughing fame,
And in amazement wish'd to know
How any mortal living so,
Could laugh. "How can you laugh, Mysone,"
They ask'd, "since you live all alone?"
"That is the very reason why
I laugh," was his reply.