The Two Dogs And The Dead Ass

: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine

Two lean and hungry mastiffs once espied

A dead ass floating on a water wide.

The distance growing more and more,

Because the wind the carcass bore,--

"My friend," said one, "your eyes are best;

Pray let them on the water rest:

What thing is that I seem to see?

An ox, or horse? what can it be?"

"Hey!" cried his mate; "what matter which,
r /> Provided we could get a flitch?

It doubtless is our lawful prey:

The puzzle is to find some way

To get the prize; for wide the space

To swim, with wind against your face.

Let's drink the flood; our thirsty throats

Will gain the end as well as boats.

The water swallow'd, by and by

We'll have the carcass, high and dry--

Enough to last a week, at least."

Both drank as some do at a feast;

Their breath was quench'd before their thirst,

And presently the creatures burst!

_And such is man. Whatever he_

_May set his soul to do or be,_

_To him is possibility._

_How many vows he makes!_

_How many steps he takes!_

_How does he strive, and pant, and strain,_

_Fortune's or Glory's prize to gain!_