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.
ON t'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.
SHOULD you, 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.
ONE day 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.
THOU know'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;
But I am kind, and clearly will decide
The year concluded, we'll the fruits divided.
What crop, pray tell me, dost thou mean to sow?
The clod replied, my lord, what best will grow
I think is Tousell; grain of hardy fame;
The imp rejoined, I never heard its name;
What is it. Tousell, say'st thou?--I agree,
If good return, 'twill be the same to me;
Work fellow, work; make haste, the ground prepare;
To dig and delve should be the rabble's care;
Don't think that I will ever lend a hand,
Or give the slightest aid to till the land;
I've told thee I'm a gentleman by birth,
Designed for ease: not doomed to turn the earth.
Howe'er I'll now the diff'rent parts allot,
And thus divide the produce of the plot:--
What shall above the heritage arise,
I'll leave to thee; 'twill very well suffice;
But what is in the soil shall be my share;
To this attend, see ev'ry thing is fair.
THIS beardless corn when ripe, with joy was reaped,
And then the stubble by the roots was heaped,
To satisfy the lordly devil's claim,
Who thought the seed and root were just the same,
And that the ear and stalk were useless parts,
Which nothing made if carried to the marts:
The labourer his produce housed with care;
The other to the market brought his ware,
Where ridicule and laughter he received;
'Twas nothing worth, which much his bosom grieved.
QUITE mortified, the devil quickly went;
To seek our clod, and mark his discontent:
The fellow had discreetly sold the corn,
In straw, unthrashed, and off the money borne,
Which he, with ev'ry wily care, concealed;
The imp was duped, and nothing was revealed.
Said he, thou rascal?--pretty tricks thou'st played;
It seems that cheating is thy daily trade;
But I'm a noble devil of the court,
Who tricking never knew, save by report.
What grain dost mean to sow th' ensuing year?
The labourer replied, I think it clear,
Instead of grain, 'twill better be to chop,
And take a carrot, or a turnip crop;
You then, my lord, will surely plenty find;
And radishes, if you are so inclined.
THESE carrots, radishes, and turnips too,
Said t'other, I am led to think will do;
My part shall be what 'bove the soil is found:
Thine, fellow, what remains within the ground;
- 73 Views
Find a translation for this poem in other languages:
Select another language:
- - Select -
- 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
- 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
- Español (Spanish)
- Esperanto (Esperanto)
- 日本語 (Japanese)
- Português (Portuguese)
- Deutsch (German)
- العربية (Arabic)
- Français (French)
- Русский (Russian)
- ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
- 한국어 (Korean)
- עברית (Hebrew)
- Український (Ukrainian)
- اردو (Urdu)
- Magyar (Hungarian)
- मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
- Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Italiano (Italian)
- தமிழ் (Tamil)
- Türkçe (Turkish)
- తెలుగు (Telugu)
- ภาษาไทย (Thai)
- Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
- Čeština (Czech)
- Polski (Polish)
- Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Românește (Romanian)
- Nederlands (Dutch)
- Ελληνικά (Greek)
- Latinum (Latin)
- Svenska (Swedish)
- Dansk (Danish)
- Suomi (Finnish)
- فارسی (Persian)
- ייִדיש (Yiddish)
- հայերեն (Armenian)
- Norsk (Norwegian)
- English (English)
Discuss this La Fontaine poem with the community:
Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"The Devil Of Pope-Fig Island" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 19 Nov. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25351/the-devil-of-pope-fig-island>.