13. THE OAK AND THE REEDS A violent storm had uprooted an oak, And then to the reeds o'er the river he spoke, Wondering the while to find them still standing As lively as ever close to the landing. He these humble reeds never noticed before, But now, since this change, he could boast never more. "I beg you, kind friends, if you will be so good, To tell me just how through this fierce storm you stood." "Most humbly our heads we bent down to the blast, And thus, without harming, it over us passed. You stood so erect, and so lofty and proud, You scarce knew yourself why it was that you bowed." The humble of earth in your pride do not spurn. You know not how soon the tide on you may turn.