By striving all to gain,
I need no witness call
But him whose thrifty hen,
As by the fable we are told,
Laid every day an egg of gold.
'She hath a treasure in her body,'
Bethinks the avaricious noddy.
He kills and opens--vexed to find
All things like hens of common kind.
Thus spoil'd the source of all his riches,
To misers he a lesson teaches.
In these last changes of the moon,
How often doth one see
Men made as poor as he
By force of getting rich too soon!
Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 5.13.
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