attributed to La Fontaine
(translated from the French)
Originally titled Le Gland et La Citrouille
God’s works are good. To prove this truth
I need not search the world, forsooth!
I do it by the nearest pumpkin!
“Fie! Fruit so large on vine so small!”
Exclaimed one day a wise young bumpkin!
“What could he mean who made us all ?
This pumpkin here is out of place.
If I had ordered in this case,
Upon that oak it should have hung-
A noble fruit as ever swung
To grace a tree so firm and strong.
Indeed there’s been a great mistake!
Had my opinion but been sought,
When God set out the world to make,
All things had then been as they ought!
All things had then in order come!
This acorn for example,
No bigger than my thumb,
Had not disgraced a tree so ample.
The more I think, the more I wonder!
The pumpkin on the oak should grow,
The Acorn on the vine below;
God surely made an awful blunder!”
With such reflections proudly fraught,
Our sage grew tired of mighty thought,
And threw himself on Nature’s lap,
Beneath an oak, to take a nap.
It chanced that during his repose,
An acorn fell plump on his nose!
He wakened with a mighty start;
He shrieked and seized the injured part!
“Oh! Oh! Alas! I bleed! I bleed!
This acorn ’twas that did the deed!
I see that God had reasons good,
And all His works were understood,
For truly, what had been my woes,
Had, then, a pumpkin whacked my nose!”
Thus home he went in a humbler mood!