The Fool And The Sage.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

[1]

A fool pursued, with club and stone,
A sage, who said, 'My friend, well done!
Receive this guinea for your pains;
They well deserve far higher gains.
The workman's worthy of his hire,
'Tis said. There comes a wealthy squire,
Who hath wherewith thy works to pay;
To him direct thy gifts, and they
Shall gain their proper recompense.'
Urged by the hope of gain,
Upon the wealthy citizen
The fool repeated the offence.
His pay this time was not in gold.
Upon the witless man
A score of ready footmen ran,
And on his back, in full, his wages told.
In courts, such fools afflict the wise;
They raise the laugh at your expense.
To check their babble, were it sense
Their folly meetly to chastise?
Perhaps 'twill take a stronger man.
Then make them worry one who can.

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