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The Stag and the Vine (French Folk Tale)

2793

A stag, by favour of a vine,

Which grew where suns most genial shine,

And form’d a thick and matted bower

Which might have turn’d a summer shower,

Was saved from ruinous assault.

The hunters thought their dogs at fault,

And call’d them off. In danger now no more

The stag, a thankless wretch and vile,

Began to browse his benefactress o’er.

The hunters, listening the while,

The rustling heard, came back,

With all their yelping pack,

And seized him in that very place.

“This is,” said he, “but justice, in my case.

Let every black ingrate

Henceforward profit by my fate.”

The dogs fell to—’twere wasting breath

To pray those hunters at the death.

They left, and we will not revile ’em

A warning for profaners of asylum.