Famous Poets and Poems:  Home  |  Poets  |  Poem of the Month  |  Poet of the Month  |  Top 50 Poems  |  Famous Quotes  |  Famous Love Poems

Back to main page Search for:

FamousPoetsAndPoems.com / Poets / Jean de La Fontaine / Poems
Popular Poets
Langston Hughes

Shel Silverstein

Pablo Neruda

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Emily Dickinson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

E. E. Cummings

Walt Whitman

William Wordsworth

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Jack Prelutsky

William Butler Yeats

Thomas Hardy

Robert Hayden

Amy Lowell

Oscar Wilde

Theodore Roethke

All Poets  

See also:

Poets by Nationality

African American Poets

Women Poets

Thematic Poems

Thematic Quotes

Contemporary Poets

Nobel Prize Poets

American Poets

English Poets

Jean de La Fontaine Poems
Back to Poems Page
The Little Bell by Jean de La Fontaine
HOW weak is man! how changeable his mind!
His promises are naught, too oft we find;
I vowed (I hope in tolerable verse,)
Again no idle story to rehearse.
And whence this promise?--Not two days ago;
I'm quite confounded; better I should know:
A rhymer hear then, who himself can boast,
Quite steady for--a minute at the most.
The pow'rs above could PRUDENCE ne'er design;
For those who fondly court the SISTERS NINE.
Some means to please they've got, you will confess;
But none with certainty the charm possess.
If, howsoever, I were doomed to find
Such lines as fully would content the mind:
Though I should fail in matter, still in art;
I might contrive some pleasure to impart.

LET'S see what we are able to obtain:--
A bachelor resided in Touraine.
A sprightly youth, who oft the maids beset,
And liked to prattle to the girls he met,
With sparkling eyes, white teeth, and easy air,
Plain russet petticoat and flowing hair,
Beside a rivulet, while Io round,
With little bell that gave a tinkling sound,
On herbs her palate gratified at will,
And gazed and played, and fondly took her fill.

AMONG the rustic nymphs our spark perceived
A charming girl, for whom his bosom heaved;
Too young, however, to feel the poignant smart,
By Cupid oft inflicted on the heart.
I will not say thirteen's an age unfit
The contrary most fully I admit;
The LAW supposes (such its prudent fears)
Maturity at still more early years;
But this apparently refers to towns,
While LOVE was born for groves, and lawns, and downs.

THE youth exerted ev'ry art to please;
But all in vain: he only seemed to teaze:
Whate'er he said, however nicely graced,
Ill-humour, inexperience, or distaste,
Induced the belle, unlearned in Cupid's book;
To treat his passion with a froward look.

BELIEVING ev'ry artifice in love
Was tolerated by the pow'rs above,
One eve he turned a heifer from the rest;
Conducted by the girl his thoughts possessed;
The others left, not counted by the fair,
(Youth seldom shows the necessary care,)
With easy, loit'ring steps the cottage sought,
Where ev'ry night they usually were brought.

HER mother, more experienced than the maid,
Observed, that from the cattle one had strayed;
The girl was scolded much, and sent to find
The heifer indiscreetly left behind.
Fair Isabella gave a vent to tears;
Invoked sweet echo to disperse her fears:
Solicited with fervent, piercing cry,
To tell her where lorn Io she might spy,
Whose little bell the spark deprived of sound;
When he withdrew her from the herd around.

THE lover now the tinkling metal shook;
The path that t'wards it led the charmer took.
The well known note was pleasing to her ear;
Without suspecting treachery was near,
She followed to a wood, both deep and large,
In hopes at least she might regain her charge.

GUESS her surprise, good reader, when she heard,
A lover's voice, who would not be deterred.
Said he, fair maid whene'er the heart's on fire,
'Tis all permitted that can quench desire.
On this, with piercing cries she rent the air;
But no one came:--she sunk to dire despair.

YE beauteous dames avoid the Sylvan shade;
Dread dangers solitary woods pervade.
View Jean de La Fontaine:  Poems | Quotes | Biography | Books

Home   |   About Project   |   Privacy Policy   |   Copyright Notice   |   Links   |   Link to Us   |   Tell a Friend   |   Contact Us
Copyright © 2006 - 2010 Famous Poets And Poems . com. All Rights Reserved.
The Poems and Quotes on this site are the property of their respective authors. All information has been
reproduced here for educational and informational purposes.