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The Purchase Of The Ass

from Literary Fables Of Yriarte





Yesterday through our street
An Ass did pass,
In trappings most complete--
A gorgeous Ass.
Saddle and halter too
Were both bran new;
With tassels yellow
Or red as rose.
Besides the fellow
Wore plumes and bows
Of ribbons bright.
Bells tinkle light
As on he paced;
And many a prank
And rare device,
With carving nice,
The shears had traced
On breast and flank.

His cunning master,--
As I was told,--
A Gypsy jockey,
The creature sold
To a weak blockhead;
And they said
The Donkey Colt
Had cost the dolt
But a mere song.
In haste along
The exulting buyer
Drove home the beast,--
His pride to feast,
While friends admire
His bargain rare.

"Let me inquire,
Neighbor,"--says one,--
"If blood and bone,
Good as his clothes,
Your purchase shows."
Whereon, with care,
The showy gear
And harness line
To strip he goes.
Beneath the saddle--
At first go off--
They find his withers
With warts all rough,
Like musket balls.
Along the spine,
And on his shoulders,
Six dreadful galls
Appal beholders.
Nothing to say
Of two great gashes,
That hidden lay
Under the girt;
And an old hurt,
From cruel lashes,
Clean to the bone,
Into a tumor
Inveterate grown.
In bitter humor,
"Ah, precious gull!"--
The hapless owner said,--
"Donkey more dull
A thousand fold
Than this brute cull,
I have my money paid
For trumpery vile,
Through Gypsy wile."

* * * * *

Now faith, this queer affair
I often note.
Well it applies
To friends of mine,
Who, at great price,
Buy books, that shine
In bindings rich and rare,
But are not worth a groat.





Next: The Ox And The Grasshopper

Previous: The Silkworm And The Caterpillar



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