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LOVE AND FOLLY. Jean de La Fontaine

LOVE AND FOLLY. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

LOVE AND FOLLY. Fable by Jean de La Fontaine. Illustration by Grandville

All is mysterious with Love,—
His bow and arrow, torch, and wings.
′Tis not a day′s work in a grove.
To master these momentous things.

Explain them my poor muse can not;
My object is but, in my way,
To tell of Cupid′s wretched lot,
And how he lost the light of day.

Whether that fate be ill or well
For those whom Cupid since has met,
Lovers alone can rightly tell:
I cannot, though I′ve felt his net.

Folly and Love together played,
One day, before he lost his sight;
But yet, as people will, they strayed
From friendship, and got stung by spite.

Disputes are really melancholy!
Love wanted all the gods and men
As umpires; but impatient Folly
Preferred it settled there and then;

And gave poor Cupid such a blow,
That both his pretty eyes were seared.
For blessed sight gave blindness—lo!
Their heaven′s blue brightness disappeared.

His mother, Venus, heard his grief,
And cried for vengeance, like one mad,
On Jove and Nemesis,—in brief,
On gods of all kinds, good and bad.

The case, she said, was very strong:
Her blind son would require a stick
And dog, to help him walk along.
Alas! for cruel Folly′s trick.

The gods poor Cupid′s case discussed,—
And boys and girls in love decide,
Decreeing that it′s only just,
Folly should Love in future guide.

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