A Poem – The Cricket and The Ant


I had to memorize and then perform the French version of this poem in high school – for a contest. it was brutal but I still have memorized the first half of this poem!



La Cigale et la Fourmi

The Cricket and the Ant

 La cigale, ayant chanté  The cricket, having spent the summer
 Tout l’été,  Singing
 Se trouva fort dépourvue  Found herself short of supplies
 Quand la bise fut venue :  When the east wind began to blow.
 Pas un seul petit morceau  Not a single scrap
 De mouche ou de vermisseau :  Of fly or wriggly grub.
 Elle alla crier famine  She went to plead famine
 Chez la fourmi sa voisine,  With her neighbour the ant,
 La priant de lui prêter  Begging her to lend her
 Quelque grain pour subsister  A few grains to keep her alive
 Jusqu’à la saison nouvelle :  Until the coming spring.
 Je vous paierai, lui dit-elle,  I will pay you back, she said,
 Avant l’août, foi d’animal,  Before August, on my word as an animal,
 Intérêt et principal.  Interest and Principal.
 La fourmi n’est pas prêteuse ;  The ant does not like to lend,
 C’est la son moindre défaut :  That is the least of her weaknesses:
 Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud ?  What did you do in the warm weather?
 Dit-elle a cette emprunteuse,  Said she to the would-be borrower.
 Nuit et jour à tout venant Night and day, to every passerby,
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise. I sang, may it please you.
Vous chantiez ! j’en suis fort aise. You sang, I am glad to hear it.
 Et bien, dansez maintenant.  Very well, now you may dance. 

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