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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Tortoise and the Hare

By Babrius (c. Second Century A.D.)

Translation of James Davies

TO the shy hare the tortoise smiling spoke,

When he about her feet began to joke:

“I’ll pass thee by, though fleeter than the gale.”

“Pooh!” said the hare, “I don’t believe thy tale.

Try but one course, and thou my speed shalt know.”

“Who’ll fix the prize, and whither we shall go?”

Of the fleet-footed hare the tortoise asked.

To whom he answered, “Reynard shall be tasked

With this; that subtle fox, whom thou dost see.”

The tortoise then (no hesitater she!)

Kept jogging on, but earliest reached the post;

The hare, relying on his fleetness, lost

Space, during sleep, he thought he could recover

When he awoke. But then the race was over;

The tortoise gained her aim, and slept her sleep.

FROM negligence doth care the vantage reap.