Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 18 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 16 pages of information about Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine Volume 18.

THE DEVIL OF POPE-FIG ISLAND

By master Francis clearly ’tis expressed: 
The folks of Papimania are blessed;
True sleep for them alone it seems was made
With us the copy only has been laid;
And by Saint John, if Heav’n my life will spare,
I’ll see this place where sleeping ’s free from care. 
E’en better still I find, for naught they do: 
’Tis that employment always I pursue. 
Just add thereto a little honest love,
And I shall be as easy as a glove.

          Ont’other hand an island may be seen,
          Where all are hated, cursed, and full of spleen. 
          We know them by the thinness of their face
          Long sleep is quite excluded from their race.

          Shouldyou, good reader, any person meet,
          With rosy, smiling looks, and cheeks replete,
          The form not clumsy, you may safely say,
          A Papimanian doubtless I survey. 
          But if, on t’other side, you chance to view,
          A meagre figure, void of blooming hue,
          With stupid, heavy eye, and gloomy mien
          Conclude at once a Pope-figer, you’ve seen.

          Pope-fig ’S the name upon an isle bestowed,
          Where once a fig the silly people showed,
          As like the pope, and due devotion paid:—­
          By folly, blocks have often gods been made! 
          These islanders were punished for their crime;
          Naught prospers, Francis tells us, in their clime;
          To Lucifer was giv’n the hateful spot,
          And there his country house he now has got. 
          His underlings appear throughout the isle,
          Rude, wretched, poor, mean, sordid, base, and vile;
          With tales, and horns, and claws, if we believe,
          What many say who ought not to deceive.

          Oneday it happened that a cunning clown
          Was by an imp observed, without the town,
          To turn the earth, which seemed to be accurst,
          Since ev’ry trench was painful as the first. 
          This youthful devil was a titled lord;
          In manners simple:—­naught to be abhorred;
          He might, so ignorant, be duped at ease;
          As yet he’d scarcely ventured to displease: 
          Said he, I’d have thee know, I was not born,
          Like clods to labour, dig nor sow the corn;
          A devil thou in me beholdest here,
          Of noble race:  to toil I ne’er appear.

          Thouknow’st full well, these fields to us belong: 
          The islanders, it seems, had acted wrong;
          And, for their crimes, the pope withdrew his cares;
          Our subjects now you live, the law declares;
          And therefore, fellow, I’ve undoubted right,
          To take the produce of this field, at sight;

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Tales and Novels of J. de La Fontaine — Volume 18 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook