The Swan And The Cook

: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine

The pleasures of a poultry yard

Were by a swan and gosling shared.

The swan was kept there for his looks,

The thrifty gosling for the cooks;

The first the garden's pride, the latter

A greater favourite on the platter.

They swam the ditches, side by side,

And oft in sports aquatic vied,

Plunging, splashing far and wide,

With rivalry ne'er satisfied.

One day the cook, named Thirsty John,

Sent for the gosling, took the swan

In haste his throat to cut,

And put him in the pot.

The bird's complaint resounded

In glorious melody;

Whereat the cook, astounded

His sad mistake to see,

Cried, "What! make soup of a musician!

Please God, I'll never set such dish on.

No, no; I'll never cut a throat

That sings so sweet a note."

_'Tis thus, whatever peril may alarm us,_

_Sweet words will never harm us._