The Camel and the Floating Sticks

La Fontaine January 17, 2015
French
Easy
1 min read
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    The first who saw the humpback’d camel
    Fled off for life; the next approach’d with care;
    The third with tyrant rope did boldly dare
    The desert wanderer to trammel.
    Such is the power of use to change
    The face of objects new and strange;
    Which grow, by looking at, so tame,
    They do not even seem the same.
    And since this theme is up for our attention,
    A certain watchman I will mention,
    Who, seeing something far
    Away upon the ocean,
    Could not but speak his notion
    That ’twas a ship of war.
    Some minutes more had past,—
    A bomb-ketch ’twas without a sail,
    And then a boat, and then a bale,
    And floating sticks of wood at last!
    Full many things on earth, I wot,
    Will claim this tale,—and well they may;
    They’re something dreadful far away,
    But near at hand—they’re not.

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