The Oil-merchant's Ass

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

Once on a time, an Ass,--

An Oilman's hack,--

Bearing upon his back

A huge skin filled with oil,

With foot o'er-worn by toil,

Into his stable sought to pass;

But, stumbling, struck his nose

The cruellest of blows

Upon the door's projecting clamp.

"Now, is it not a shame,"--

Poor Donkey did exclaim,--

"That I, who every day

Carry tuns of oil, my way

Into my own stable cannot find,

More than if I were stone-blind,

For want of one poor lamp?"

* * * * *

Much I fear, that those who glory

In buying books they never read,

Fare as ill,--

And deserve no more;--but, if they will

Grow wiser, let them heed this story.