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So, feeding, sitting at his ease,
He meditates of what you please,
Till his antagonist he sees
Approach the goal; then starts,
Away like lightning darts:
But vainly does he run;

The race is by the tortoise won.

Cries she, "My senses do I lack?
What boots your boasted swiftness now?
You're beat! and yet, you must allow,
I bore my house upon my back."


A LITTLE fish will grow,
If life be spared, a great;
But yet to let him go,

And for his growing wait,
May not be very wise,

As 'tis not sure your bait
Will catch him when of size.

Upon a river bank, a fisher took
A tiny troutling from his hook.
Said he, ""Twill serve to count, at least,

As the beginning of my feast;

And so I'll put it with the rest."

This little fish, thus caught,
His clemency besought.

"What will your honor do with me?
I'm not a mouthful, as you see.
Pray let me grow to be a trout,
And then come here and fish me out.
Some alderman, who likes things nice,
Will buy me then at any price.

But now, a hundred such you'll have to fish,
To make a single good-for-nothing dish."

"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
Prefer the present to the future tense.

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A POOR Woodcutter, covered with green boughs,
Under the fagot's weight and his own age
Groaning and bent, ending his weary stage,
Was struggling homeward to his smoky hut.
At last, worn out with labor and with pain,
Letting his fagot down, he thinks again

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,
Creditors, forced toil oppressed,

He is the picture of a man unblessed.

He cries for Death. Death comes straightway,
And asks why he was called upon.
"Help me," the poor man says, "I pray,
To lift this wood, then I'll begone."

Death comes to end our woes.

But who called him? Not I!
The motto of mankind still goes:
We'll suffer all, sooner than die.


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.

EAGLES, that wheel above our crests,
Say to the storms that round us blow,
They cannot harm our gnarlèd breasts,
Firm-rooted as we are below.

Their utmost efforts we defy.

They lift the sea-waves to the sky;
But when they wrestle with our arms,

Nervous and gaunt, or lift our hair,
Balanced within its cradle fair
The tiniest bird has no alarms.

Sons of the rock, no mortal hand
Here planted us: God-sown we grew.
We are the diadem green and grand
On Eden's summit that He threw.
When waters in a deluge rose,
Our hollow flanks could well inclose
Awhile the whole of Adam's race;
And children of the Patriarch
Within our forest built the Ark
Of Covenant, foreshadowing Grace.
We saw the tribes as captives led,
We saw them back return anon;
As rafters have our branches dead
Covered the porch of Solomon;
And later, when the Word made man
Came down in God's salvation-plan
To pay for sin the ransom-price,
The beams that form'd the Cross we gave:
These, red in blood of power to save,
Were altars of that Sacrifice.

In memory of such great events,
Men come to worship our remains;
Kneel down in prayer within our tents,
And kiss our old trunks' weather-stains.
The saint, the poet, and the sage,
Hear and shall hear from age to age
Sounds in our foliage like the voice
Of many waters; in these shades

Their burning words are forged like blades,
While their uplifted souls rejoice.


HAIL! sole companion of my lonely toil,
Dear witness once of dearer loves of mine!
My happiness is fled, thy store of oil
Still with clear light doth shine!
Thou dost recall the bright days of my life,
When in Pompeii's streets I roamed along,
Evoking memories of her brilliant strife,
Half tearful, half in song.

The sun was finishing his mighty round;
I was alone among a buried host;
And in the dust my idle glances found
The name of some poor ghost.

And there I saw thee, 'neath the ashes piled;
And near thee, almost buried with the rest,
The impress left there by some lovely child,
The outline of a breast.

Perhaps by thy light did the virgin go
To pray within the fane, now desolate,
For happiness that she should never know, -
Love, ne'er to be her fate!

Within the tomb her perished beauty lies:

Youth, maiden modesty, the dawning love
A mother's tender glance could scarce surprise,
Fled to the heavens above!

She vanished like the lightning's sudden gleam,
As one wave by another swiftly borne;
Or as the last hope of some wretch's dream,
When he awakes at morn!

Beauty is not the idol of the best!

I was a fool before her feet to lie,
Forgetting that, a stranger like the rest,
She too must fade and die.

What matter, then, whether she smile or frown?
My soul would seek the worship that is sure!
It needs a god to triumph, be cast down,
And, after all, endure!

Yes, I would tear myself from vain desires,
From all that perishes and is forgot;
And I would seek, to start my altar fires,
A hope that dieth not!

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,
Child of the lyre, born but to touch the string,
Would die inglorious, — yield the golden round,
Live like a banished king.

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