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The Thieves And The Ass

Source: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine

Two thieves, pursuing their profession,
Had of a donkey got possession,
Whereon a strife arose,
Which went from words to blows.
The question was, to sell, or not to sell;
But while our sturdy champions fought it well,
Another thief, who chanced to pass,
With ready wit rode off the ass.

_This ass is, by interpretation,_
_Some province poor, or prostrate nation._
_The thieves are princes this and that,_
_On spoils and plunder prone to fat,--_
_As those of Austria, Turkey, Hungary._
_(Instead of two, I've quoted three--_
_Enough of such commodity.)_
_These powers engaged in war all,_
_Some fourth thief stops the quarrel,_
_According all to one key,_
_By riding off the donkey_

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