The Ass And His Master





"On good and bad an equal value sets

The stupid mob. From me the worst it gets,

And never fails to praise," With vile pretence,

The scurrilous author thus his trash excused.

A poet shrewd, hearing the lame defence,

Indignant, thus exposed the argument abused.



A Donkey's master said unto his beast,

While doling out to him his lock of straw,

"Here, take it--since such diet suits your taste,

And much good may it do your vulgar maw!"

Often the slighting speech the man repeated.

The Ass--his quiet mood by insult heated--

Replies: "Just what you choose to give, I take,

Master unjust! but not because I choose it.

Think you I nothing like but straw? Then make

The experiment. Bring corn, and see if I refuse it."



* * * * *



Ye caterers for the public, hence take heed

How your defaults by false excuse you cover!

Fed upon straw--straw it may eat, indeed:

Try it with generous fare--'t will scorn the other.





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