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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. 15



THE little fox, the wolf and bear made peace;
Like kinsfolk all, they bade their warfare cease.
The fox they consecrate a hermit now;--
False monk, false hermit, false recluse's vow!

The little fox a sack found in the street
Through which he thrust his head; then shod his feet
With iron shoes, and got a staff, I trow--
False monk, false hermit, false recluse's vow!

The fox has sent the wolf to fetch the bear.
"For him," he said, "I live this life of care;
Yet never hath he sent me aught to eat:--
Sore are my knees with walking, sore my feet!"

At morning dawn forth to the hunt they creep;
A ram they catch, a lambkin and a sheep.
Holy dispenser is the wolf proclaimed--
Unjust dispenser, judge unwisely named!

He gives the sheep as portion to the bear;
The lambkin falls to the poor hermit's share.
"The ram for me," he said, "I'm tired and lamed"--
Unjust dispenser, judge unwisely named!

p. 16

The bear was wroth, and turned him round about,
And with one blow the wolf's two eyes put out.
"That sheep for me, a bear so great and famed?
Unjust dispenser, judge unwisely named!"

The little fox is sore afraid, and sees
A trap laid ready with a piece of cheese.
"O uncle, see, I've built a convent here,"
He said, "a place of rest, a place of prayer!"

The bear stretched out his paw for the repast,
The trap upon his neck closed hard and fast.
"Help me, my little nephew, for I fear
This is no convent, ’tis no house of prayer!"

The little fox with joy beheld the whole
And sang a mass for his great uncle's soul.
"The wrong thou didst the wolf has brought thee there;
It is a house of rest, a house of prayer!"

O sovereign Justice, much thou pleasest me--
Who wrongs another soon shall cease to be.
And fasting in the trap must lie the bear,--
For ’tis a house of rest, a house of prayer!"


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