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THE TWO GOATS. Jean de La Fontaine

The Two Goats (fable of Jean de La Fontaine). Claudot Jean Baptiste (1733-1805)

The Two Goats (fable of Jean de La Fontaine). Claudot Jean Baptiste (1733-1805)

Since goats have ever clambering browsed,
By Nature′s gentle force aroused,
They′ve wandered far and wandered free,
Enjoying sweets of liberty.
Their greatest pleasure is to find
Paths all unknown to human kind:
A rock, or hanging precipice,
Suits these wild animals′ caprice:
No wall can make their gambols cease.
Two white-foot Goats, then, thus inspired,

And with adventurous spirit fired,
Deserted pastures too well known,
And chose their routes, each one his own.
But though each separate pathways took,
It chanced they reached the self-same brook,
O′er which, for bridge, a plank was thrown,
That scarce would have sufficed for one.
The stream was deep, the flood was wide,
And should these dames have terrified;
But, spite of danger, each young lady
Advanced upon the plank unsteady.
And now, by aid of history,
Louis le Grand I seem to see
Philip the Fourth advance to meet
Upon the isle of conference.
Well, step by step, with agile feet,
Our ramblers, with a proper sense
Of what was due to ancestry,
Refused to yield; for one Goat, she
Could claim that Polyphemus laid
Her sire at Galatea′s feet;
The other, just as boldly, said
Her dam was Amalthæa sweet—
The goat who gave her milk to Jove,
Who rules below, and reigns above.
Neither would yield, so both fell down,
And there we leave our Goats to drown.

Of moral I′ve not much to say:
But such things happen every day.

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