The Carter in the Mire

La Fontaine January 17, 2015
1 min read
  • A A A
  • Download PDF
  • A A A
  • Download PDF
    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

    The Phaëton who drove a load of hay
    Once found his cart bemired.
    Poor man! the spot was far away
    From human help—retired,
    In some rude country place,
    In Brittany, as near as I can trace,
    Near Quimper Corentan,—
    A town that poet never sang,—
    Which Fate, they say, puts in the traveller’s path,
    When she would rouse the man to special wrath.
    May Heaven preserve us from that route!
    But to our carter, hale and stout:—
    Fast stuck his cart; he swore his worst,
    And, fill’d with rage extreme,
    The mud-holes now he cursed,
    And now he cursed his team,
    And now his cart and load,—
    Anon, the like upon himself bestow’d.
    Upon the god he call’d at length,
    Most famous through the world for strength.
    “O, help me, Hercules!” cried he; “for if thy back of yore
    This burly planet bore, thy arm can set me free.”
    This prayer gone up, from out a cloud there broke
    A voice which thus in godlike accents spoke:—
    “The suppliant must himself bestir,
    Ere Hercules will aid confer.
    Look wisely in the proper quarter,
    To see what hindrance can be found;
    Remove the execrable mud and mortar,
    Which, axle-deep, beset thy wheels around.
    Thy sledge and crowbar take,
    And pry me up that stone, or break;
    Now fill that rut upon the other side.
    Hast done it?” “Yes,” the man replied.
    “Well,” said the voice, “I’ll aid thee now;
    Take up thy whip.” “I have … but, how?
    My cart glides on with ease!
    I thank thee, Hercules.”
    “Thy team,” rejoin’d the voice, “has light ado;
    So help thyself, and Heaven will help thee too.”

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Share to other sites

    Terms & Condition


    When subscribing to the newsletter you are agreeing to receive newsletters.

    By ticking the "I agree to the terms & conditions" checkbox, you are agreeing that your email address is collected by for the purposes of promoting our products, services and partners.

    Personal information is not disclosed to anyone outside the company without prior consent.

    To unsubscribe from our mailing list you are free at any time to click the unsubscribe link which will appear on all email correspondence.

    Many thanks!

    Please confirm your email address in the mail we just sent you.
    Follow us on:
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Tumblr

    We would love to hear your feedback!


    Many thanks!

    Your feedback is much appreciated.
    Follow us on:
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Tumblr