The Horse And The Ass.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

[1]

In such a world, all men, of every grade,
Should each the other kindly aid;
For, if beneath misfortune's goad
A neighbour falls, on you will fall his load.

There jogg'd in company an ass and horse;
Nought but his harness did the last endorse;
The other bore a load that crush'd him down,
And begg'd the horse a little help to give,
Or otherwise he could not reach the town.
'This prayer,' said he, 'is civil, I believe;
One half this burden you would scarcely feel.'
The horse refused, flung up a scornful heel,
And saw his comrade die beneath the weight: -
And saw his wrong too late;
For on his own proud back
They put the ass's pack,
And over that, beside,
They put the ass's hide.

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