Title: The Tales and Novels, v13: St. Julian’s Prayer
Author: Jean de La Fontaine
Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5287] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on June 21, 2002]
Character set encoding: ASCII
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J. De La Fontaine
St. Julian’s prayer
To charms and philters, secret spells and prayers,
How many round attribute all their cares!
In these howe’er I never can believe,
And laugh at follies that so much deceive.
Yet with the beauteous fair, ’tis very true,
These words, as sacred virtues, oft they view;
The spell and philter wonders work in love
Hearts melt with charms supposed from pow’rs above!
Myaim is now to have recourse to these,
And give a story that I trust will please,
In which Saint Julian’s prayer, to Reynold D’Ast,
Produced a benefit, good fortune classed.
Had he neglected to repeat the charm,
Believed so thoroughly to guard from harm,
He would have found his cash accounts not right,
And passed assuredly a wretched night.
Oneday, to William’s castle as he moved.
Three men, whose looks he very much approved,
And thought such honest fellows he had round,
Their like could nowhere be discovered round;
Without suspecting any thing was wrong,
The three, with complaisance and fluent tongue,
Saluted him in humble servile style,
And asked, (the minutes better to beguile,)
If they might bear him company the way;
The honour would be great, and no delay;
Besides, in travelling ’tis safer found,
And far more pleasant, when the party’s round;
So many robbers through the province range,
(Continued they) ’tis wonderfully strange,
The prince should not these villains more restrain;
But there:—bad men will somewhere still remain.
Totheir proposal Reynold soon agreed,
And they resolved together to proceed.
When ’bout a league the travellers had moved,
Discussing freely, as they all approved,
The conversation turned on spells and prayer,