The Kite And The Nightingale.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

[1]

A noted thief, the kite,
Had set a neighbourhood in fright,
And raised the clamorous noise
Of all the village boys,
When, by misfortune, - sad to say, -
A nightingale fell in his way.
Spring's herald begg'd him not to eat
A bird for music - not for meat.
'O spare!' cried she, 'and I'll relate
'The crime of Tereus and his fate.' -
'What's Tereus?[2] Is it food for kites?' -
'No, but a king, of female rights
The villain spoiler, whom I taught
A lesson with repentance fraught;
And, should it please you not to kill,
My song about his fall
Your very heart shall thrill,
As it, indeed, does all.' -
Replied the kite, a 'pretty thing!
When I am faint and famishing,
To let you go, and hear you sing?' -
'Ah, but I entertain the king!' -
'Well, when he takes you, let him hear
Your tale, full wonderful, no doubt;
For me, a kite, I'll go without.'
An empty stomach hath no ear.[3]

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