La Cigale et la Fourmi / The Grasshopper and the Ant

oil on canvas
81 x 100 cm
signed and dated 'W Aractingii 89' (lower right)


The Artist's Estate

Condition Report
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Beirut, Lebanon

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About this artwork

La Cigale et la Fourmi

La cigale, ayant chanté
Tout l'été,
Se trouva fort dépourvue
Quand la bise fut venue:
Pas un seul petit morceau De mouche ou de vermisseau.
Elle alla crier famine
Chez la fourmi sa voisine, La priant de lui prêter
Quelque grain pour subsister
Jusqu'à la saison nouvelle:
« Te vous paierai, lui dit-elle
Avant l'oût, foi d'animal, Intérêt et principal. »
La fourmi n'est pas prêteuse:
C'est là son moindre défaut.
«Que faisiez-vous au temps chaud?
Dit-elle à cette emprunteuse.
- Nuit et jour à tout venant
Je chantais, ne vous déplaise.
- Vous chantiez! j'en suis fort aise.
Eh bien! dansez maintenant."
Well, then, now's the time to dance."

The Grasshopper and the Ant

The Grasshopper, so blithe and gay,
Sang the summer time away.
Pinched and poor the spendthrift grew,
When the sour north-easter blew.
In her larder not a scrap,
Bread to taste, nor drink to lap.
To the Ant, ber neighbour, she
Went to moan her penury,
Praying for a loan of wheat,
Just to make a loaf to eat,
Till the sunshine came again.
"All I say is fair and plain,
I will pay you every grain, Principal and interest too,
Before harvest, I tell you,
On my honour - every pound,
Ere a single sheaf is bound."
The Ant's a very prudent friend,
Never much disposed to lend;
Virtues great and failings small,
This her failing least of all.
Quoth she, "How spent vou the summer?"
"Night and day, to each new comer
I sang gaily, by jour leave;
Singing, singing, morn and eve."
"You sang? I see it at a glance.

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