Friday, March 14, 2008

Sliver of Aesop and a sunset

Marie Ponsot's translation of La Fontaine's "The Frog Who Wanted to Make Herself Big as an Ox"

A frog saw an ox and was stirred
To admiration for his size.
She, no bigger than the egg of a mockingbird,
Began to stretch, and puff up, to hyperbolize
Herself to oxen dimensions, crying,
"Watch, great friend! Shall I keep trying?
Look!" she puffed, "Have I already reached your size?"
"Now see!" "Still no." "How's this?" "No closer than at first,"
Said the ox. The ambitious diminutive so
Outdid herself then that she burst.
In liking to seem grand, most men are no sages.
Middle-class folk live in imitation chateaux;
Princelings love protocol's punctilios,
And minor knights must have pages.

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