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Gordon Pirie

Gordon Pirie taught for many years at Winchester College, where he was head of the English Department; he died in 1984.

Poem: ‘The Eagle and the Beetle’

Jean de La Fontaine, translated by Gordon Pirie, 7 February 2008

An eagle once swooped down to catch A rabbit, who made off with due dispatch Towards his lair. It wasn’t near, And he despaired of getting there In time, when going past a beetle’s hole, He thought: ‘Why not?’ And in he shot. Don’t ask me how a beetle’s hole Could possibly accommodate a rabbit. It couldn’t; and the eagle, landing there, could grab it...

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