The Cock and the Fox

La Fontaine January 17, 2015
French
Easy
2 min read
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    Upon a tree there mounted guard
    A veteran cock, adroit and cunning;
    When to the roots a fox up running,
    Spoke thus, in tones of kind regard:—
    “Our quarrel, brother, ‘s at an end;
    Henceforth I hope to live your friend;
    For peace now reigns
    Throughout the animal domains.
    I bear the news:—come down, I pray,
    And give me the embrace fraternal;
    And please, my brother, don’t delay.
    So much the tidings do concern all,
    That I must spread them far to-day.
    Now you and yours can take your walks
    Without a fear or thought of hawks.
    And should you clash with them or others,
    In us you’ll find the best of brothers;—
    For which you may, this joyful night,
    Your merry bonfires light.
    But, first, let’s seal the bliss
    With one fraternal kiss.”
    “Good friend,” the cock replied, “upon my word,
    A better thing I never heard;
    And doubly I rejoice
    To hear it from your voice;
    And, really there must be something in it,
    For yonder come two greyhounds, which I flatter
    Myself are couriers on this very matter.
    They come so fast, they’ll be here in a minute.
    I’ll down, and all of us will seal the blessing
    With general kissing and caressing.”
    “Adieu,” said fox; “my errand’s pressing;
    I’ll hurry on my way,
    And we’ll rejoice some other day.”
    So off the fellow scamper’d, quick and light,
    To gain the fox-holes of a neighbouring height,
    Less happy in his stratagem than flight.
    The cock laugh’d sweetly in his sleeve;—
    ‘Tis doubly sweet deceiver to deceive.

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