Although there is no known source for the story as such, it has been suggested that La Fontaine had in mind the French proverb la fortune vient en dormant fortune comes while one sleeps ,  used of those who grow rich without exerting themselves. The illustration features a naked huntsman and a sleeping monarch.
La Fontaine prefaces his fable with a meditation on the difficulties and uncertainties of chasing fortune and what motivates people to do so. Commentators cite several popes of humble origin, of whom the one that La Fontaine probably had in mind was the most recent, Sixtus V , once a swineherd in his youth. Commentators also point out echoes of Latin writers within the text.
In this case the allusion is to lines in an ode of Horace , Illi robur et aes triplex circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci commisit pelago ratem primus Odes. The song of mine will touch your forehead like a kiss of blessing. When you are alone it will sit by your side and whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd it will fence you about with aloofness.
The Fortune Seekers and Selected Poems
My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams, it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown. It will be like the faithful star overhead when dark night is over your road. My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes, and will carry your sight into the heart of things. And when my voice is silenced in death, my song will speak in your living heart. On the Nature of Love. The night is black and the forest has no end; a million people thread it in a million ways. We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where or with whom - of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith - that a lifetime's bliss will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips. Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks. Then peradventure there's a flash of lightning: whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
One day in spring, a woman came In my lonely woods, In the lovely form of the Beloved. Came, to give to my songs, melodies, To give to my dreams, sweetness. Suddenly a wild wave Broke over my heart's shores And drowned all language. To my lips no name came, She stood beneath the tree, turned, Glanced at my face, made sad with pain, And with quick steps, came and sat by me. Taking my hands in hers, she said: 'You do not know me, nor I you-- I wonder how this could be?
The cry that is in my heart is also the cry of her heart; The thread with which she binds me binds her too. Her have I sought everywhere, Her have I worshipped within me, Hidden in that worship she has sought me too. Crossing the wide oceans, she came to steal my heart. She forgot to return, having lost her own. Her own charms play traitor to her, She spreads her net, knowing not Whether she will catch or be caught.
I wonder if I know him In whose speech is my voice, In whose movement is my being, Whose skill is in my lines, Whose melody is in my songs In joy and sorrow. I thought he was chained within me, Contained by tears and laughter, Work and play. I thought he was my very self Coming to an end with my death. Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him In the sight and touch of my beloved? This 'I' beyond self I found On the shores of the shining sea. Therefore I know This'I' is not imprisoned within my bounds.
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Losing myself, I find him Beyond the borders of time and space. From the dark clouds pour the rains. I sit and think: Bearing so many forms, so many names, I come down, crossing the threshold Of countless births and deaths. The Supreme undivided, complete in himself, Embracing past and present, Dwells in Man. Within Him I shall find myself - The 'I' that reaches everywhere. Unending Love. I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times In life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs, That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms, In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain, It's ancient tale of being apart or together. As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge, Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time. You become an image of what is remembered forever. You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount. At the heart of time, love of one for another. We have played along side millions of lovers, Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting, the distressful tears of farewell, Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
The Golden Boat. Clouds rumbling in the sky; teeming rain. I sit on the river bank, sad and alone. The sheaves lie gathered,harvest has ended, The river is swollen and fierce in its flow. As we cut the paddy it started to rain. One small paddy-field, no one but me - Flood-waters twisting and swirling everywhere. Trees on the far bank;smear shadows like ink On a village painted on deep morning grey.
On this side a paddy-field, no one but me. Who is this, steering close to the shore Singing? I feel that she is someone I know. The sails are filled wide,she gazes ahead, Waves break helplessly against the boat each side.
I watch and feel I have seen her face before. Oh to what foreign land do you sail?
Come to the bank and moor your boat for a while. Go where you want to,give where you care to, But come to the bank a moment, show your smile - Take away my golden paddy when you sail. Take it, take as much as you can load. Is there more?
No, none, I have put it aboard. My intense labour here by the river - I have parted with it all, layer upon layer; Now take me as well, be kind, take me aboard.
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No room, no room, the boat is too small. Loaded with my gold paddy, the boat is full. Across the rain-sky clouds heave to and fro, On the bare river-bank, I remain alone - What had has gone: the golden boat took all. IF baby only wanted to, he could fly up to heaven this moment. It is not for nothing that he does not leave us.
A Box of Fortune Cookies
He loves to rest his head on mother's bosom, and cannot ever bear to lose sight of her. Baby knows all manner of wise words, though few on earth can understand their meaning. It is not for nothing that he never wants to speak. The one thing he wants is to learn mother's words from mother's lips.
That is why he looks so innocent. Baby had a heap of gold and pearls, yet he came like a beggar on to this earth. It is not for nothing he came in such a disguise. This dear little naked mendicant pretends to be utterly helpless, so that he may beg for mother's wealth of love. Baby was so free from every tie in the land of the tiny crescent moon.
It was not for nothing he gave up his freedom. He knows that there is room for endless joy in mother's little corner of a heart, and it is sweeter far than liberty to be caught and pressed in her dear arms. Baby never knew how to cry.
He dwelt in the land of perfect bliss. It is not for nothing he has chosen to shed tears. Though with the smile of his dear face he draws mother's yearning heart to him, yet his little cries over tiny troubles weave the double bond of pity and love. The Year There lived then a poet, ebullient of spirit, his heart steeped in song, who wanted to open his words like so many flowers with so much passion one day a hundred years back.
A hundred years from today who is the new poet whose songs flow through your homes? May my vernal song find its echo for a moment in your spring day in the throbbing of your hearts, in the buzzing of your bees, in the rustling of your leaves a hundred years from today. Translated by Ketaki Kushari Dyson. To mark the year of the Bengali calendar, this translation was read out by the translator at an event in jointly organized by the Nehru Centre of the High Commission of India in London and the Tagore Centre of London, and held in the premises of the Nehru Centre.
On the Nature of Love From "Chaitali" We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where or with whom -- of that we are unaware.