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The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/The Two Travelers

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FABLE IV.
THE TWO TRAVELERS.

Two friendly comrades, Tom and Bill,
Were on their way to Thionville,
When Thomas found
A purse of gold upon the ground.
"What a wind-fall for us!" said Bill.

"No, not for us," Tom quick replies;
"To me, alone, belongs the prize."
Bill answered not. But soon their way
Led them where ambush'd robbers lay.
Tom, trembling, would have taken flight,
But rivetted by his affright,
Exclaimed, "Alas! we are undone!"
"Not we," says Bill, "but you alone."
And saying so he nimbly flies,
And through a hedge securely hies.
But Tom is captur'd, gagg'd, and bound,
And robb'd of all the gold he'd found.

Who, like our hero, is inclined
   To keep good luck for his own ends,
Must soon or late be doom'd to find,
   When ill luck comes he'll have no friends.