The Man and the Flea

Impertinent, we tease and weary Heaven With prayers which would insult mere mortals even. "IT would seem that not a god in all the skies From our affairs must ever turn his eyes,

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Jean de La Fontaine Fables - Book 8 - Fable 5Impertinent, we tease and weary Heaven
With prayers which would insult mere mortals even.
“Twould seem that not a god in all the skies
From our affairs must ever turn his eyes,
And that the smallest of our race
Could hardly eat, or wash his face,
Without, like Greece and Troy for ten years’ space,
Embroiling all Olympus in the case.
A flea some blockhead’s shoulder bit,
And then his clothes refused to quit.
“O Hercules,” he cried, “you ought to purge
This world of this far worse than hydra scourge!
O Jupiter, what are your bolts about,
They do not put these foes of mine to rout?”
To crush a flea, this fellow’s fingers under,
The gods must lend the fool their club and thunder!

 

The Man and the Flea by Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables in Book 8

Jean de La Fontaine
Jean de La Fontaine (8 September 1621 – 13 April 1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, and in French regional languages.
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