Had all their interests combined.
Their friendship, faithful and refined,
Our country can't exceed, do what it may.
One night, when potent Sleep had laid
All still within our planet's shade,
One of the two gets up alarm'd,
Runs over to the other's palace,
And hastily the servants rallies.
His startled friend, quick arm'd,
With purse and sword his comrade meets,
And thus right kindly greets:--
'Thou seldom com'st at such an hour;
I take thee for a man of sounder mind
Than to abuse the time for sleep design'd.
Hast lost thy purse, by Fortune's power?
Here's mine. Hast suffer'd insult, or a blow,
I've here my sword--to avenge it let us go.'
'No,' said his friend, 'no need I feel
Of either silver, gold, or steel;
I thank thee for thy friendly zeal.
In sleep I saw thee rather sad,
And thought the truth might be as bad.
Unable to endure the fear,
That cursed dream has brought me here.'
Which think you, reader, loved the most!
If doubtful this, one truth may be proposed:
There's nothing sweeter than a real friend:
Not only is he prompt to lend--
An angler delicate, he fishes
The very deepest of your wishes,
And spares your modesty the task
His friendly aid to ask.
A dream, a shadow, wakes his fear,
When pointing at the object dear.
Source: Wright's translation of La Fontaine, Fable 8.11.
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