The Raven and the Fox

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Fables by Jean de La Fontaine, translated by Elizur Wright
The Raven and the Fox
Book I, Fable II. Source: Gutenberg Project.
Perch'd on a lofty oak,
Sir Raven held a lunch of cheese;
Sir Fox, who smelt it in the breeze,
Thus to the holder spoke:─
"Ha! how do you do, Sir Raven?
Well, your coat, sir, is a brave one!
So black and glossy, on my word, sir,
With voice to match, you were a bird, sir,
Well fit to be the Phoenix of these days."
Sir Raven, overset with praise,
Must show how musical his croak.
Down fell the luncheon from the oak;
Which snatching up, Sir Fox thus spoke:─
"The flatterer, my good sir,
Aye liveth on his listener;
Which lesson, if you please,
Is doubtless worth the cheese."
A bit too late, Sir Raven swore
The rogue should never cheat him more.