A stag, by favour of a vine,
Which grew where suns most genial shine,
And formed a thick and matted bower
Which might have turned a summer shower,
Was saved from ruinous assault.
The hunters thought their dogs at fault,
And called them off. In danger now no more
The stag, a thankless wretch and vile,
Began to browse his benefactress over.
The hunters, listening the while,
The rustling heard, came back,
With all their yelping pack,
And seized him in that very place.
“This is,” said he, “but justice, in my case.
Let every black ingrate
Henceforward profit by my fate.”
The dogs fell to—’twere wasting breath
To pray those hunters at the death.
They left, and we will not revile them,
A warning for profaners of asylum.
The Stag and the Vine – Jean de La Fontaine Fables – Book 5