LA CIGALE ET LA FOURMI THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT
Jean de la Fontaine trans. Stan Solomons
La cigale, ayant chanté
Tout l'été,
trouva fort dépourvue
Quand la bise fut venue.
Pas un seul petit morceau
De mouche ou de vermisseau.
Elle alla crier famine
Chez la fourmi sa voisine,
La priant de lui prêter
Quelque grain pour subsister
Jusqu'à la saison nouvelle.
"Je vous paierai," lui dit-elle,
"avant l'août, foi d'animal,
Intérêt et principal."
La fourmi n'est pas prêteuse;
C'est là son moindre défaut.
"Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud?"
Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse.
- "Nuit et jour à tout venant
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise."
- "Vous chantiez? j'en suis fort aise.
Eh bien! dansez maintenant."
The Grasshopper in drowsy song
Has spent the pleasant summer long,
And found herself without a crumb
When winter's icy blast had come.
Not one small morsel could she spy
Of puny worm or measly fly.
So off she went to cry her want
Straight to her neighbour Madame Ant,
Merely asking for a loan
Of bread or grain to eke her own
Until the plenteous time came round.
"I'll pay you back, or I'll be bound
By August, word of animal,
Both interest and principal."
The Ants are not a lending lot
Indeed that is their slightest fault.
"What were you doing when 'twas hot?"
She asked this impecunious sort.
" To all who came, both day and night
I used to sing at every chance."
"You used to sing? That's fine and right!
Well now's the very time - to dance!"





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