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So, feeding, sitting at his ease,
The race is by the tortoise won.
Cries she, "My senses do I lack?
THE LITTLE FISH AND THE FISHER.
A LITTLE fish will grow,
And for his growing wait,
As 'tis not sure your bait
Upon a river bank, a fisher took
As the beginning of my feast;
And so I'll put it with the rest."
This little fish, thus caught,
"What will your honor do with me?
But now, a hundred such you'll have to fish,
"Well, well, be it so," replied the fisher, "My little fish, who play the preacher, The frying-pan must be your lot, Although, no doubt, you like it not: I fry the fry that can be got."
In some things, men of sense
DEATH AND THE WOODCUTTER.
A POOR Woodcutter, covered with green boughs,
What little pleasure he has had in life.
Is there so cursed a wretch in all the strife? No bread sometimes, and never any rest;
With taxes, soldiers, children, and a wife,
He is the picture of a man unblessed.
He cries for Death. Death comes straightway,
Death comes to end our woes.
But who called him? Not I!
ALPHONSE MARIE LOUIS DE LAMARTINE.
ALPHONSE MARIE LOUIS DE LAMARTINE, a French poet, historian, and statesman, born near Mâcon, Oct. 21, 1790; died in Paris, March 1, 1869. He was sent to the college at Belley, where he remained until his nineteenth year. In 1811 he went to Italy, where he spent two years. When Napoleon was sent to Elba,
Lamartine returned to France and entered the service of Louis XVIII. On the return of Napoleon he took refuge in Switzerland. In 1818-1819 he traveled in Savoy, Switzerland, and Italy, writing poetry, of which his first volume, "Méditations Poétiques," was published in 1820. He now entered the diplomatic service. In 1823 he published "Nouvelles Méditations."
After the accession of Louis Philippe he traveled in Turkey, Egypt, and Syria. During his absence he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He was reëlected in 1837.
The Revolution of 1848 gave him a foremost place. He was made Minister of Foreign Affairs, was elected for the Constitutional Assembly and was chosen one of the five members of the Executive Committee, but he held the reins of government for four months only.
The remainder of his life was spent in literary labor. In 1860 he supervised an edition of his works in forty-one volumes. Among them are "Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses" (1830); "Souvenirs, Impressions, Pensées et Paysages pendant un Voyage en Orient" (1835); "Jocelyn, Journal trouvé chez un Curé de Village" (1836); "La Chute d'un Ange" (1838); (1838); "Recueillements Poétiques" (1839); "Histoire des Girondins" (1847); "History of the Revolution of 1848," and "Histories of Turkey and Russia." The entire list of his writings, in prose and verse, is very long.
THE CEDARS OF LEBANON.
Their utmost efforts we defy.
They lift the sea-waves to the sky;
Nervous and gaunt, or lift our hair,
Sons of the rock, no mortal hand
In memory of such great events,
Their burning words are forged like blades,
TO MY LAMP.
HAIL! sole companion of my lonely toil,
The sun was finishing his mighty round;
And there I saw thee, 'neath the ashes piled;
Perhaps by thy light did the virgin go
Within the tomb her perished beauty lies:
Youth, maiden modesty, the dawning love
She vanished like the lightning's sudden gleam,
Beauty is not the idol of the best!
I was a fool before her feet to lie,
What matter, then, whether she smile or frown?
Yes, I would tear myself from vain desires,
The resting eagle is an eagle still:
Though 'neath his mighty wing he hides his head, He sees his prey, he strikes it, takes his fill, Perchance you thought him dead?
I pity those who thought one ivy-crowned,