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Jean de La Fontaine Poems
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The Pitcher by Jean de La Fontaine
THE simple Jane was sent to bring
Fresh water from the neighb'ring spring;
The matter pressed, no time to waste,
Jane took her jug, and ran in haste
The well to reach, but in her flurry
(The more the speed the worse the hurry),
Tripped on a rolling stone, and broke
Her precious pitcher,--ah! no joke!
Nay, grave mishap! 'twere better far
To break her neck than such a jar!
Her dame would beat and soundly rate her,
No way could Jane propitiate her.
Without a sou new jug to buy!
'Twere better far for her to die!
O'erwhelmed by grief and cruel fears
Unhappy Jane burst into tears
"I can't go home without the delf,"
Sobbed Jane, "I'd rather kill myself;
"So here am I resolved to die."
A friendly neighbour passing by
O'erheard our damsel's lamentation;
And kindly offered consolation:
"If death, sweet maiden, be thy bent,
"I'll aid thee in thy sad intent."
Throwing her down, he drew his dirk,
And plunged it in the maid,--a work
You'll say was cruel,--not so Jane,
Who even seemed to like the pain,
And hoped to be thus stabbed again.
Amid the weary world's alarms,
For some e'en death will have its charms;
"If this, my friend, is how you kill,
"Of breaking jugs I'll have my fill!"
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