The Ass And The Little Dog
Source: A Hundred Fables Of La Fontaine
One's native talent from its course
Cannot be turned aside by force;
But poorly apes the country clown
The polish'd manners of the town.
Their Maker chooses but a few
With power of pleasing to imbue;
Where wisely leave it we, the mass,
Unlike a certain fabled ass,
That thought to gain his master's blessing
By jumping on him and caressing.
"What!" said the donkey in his heart;
"Ought it to be that puppy's part
To lead his useless life
In full companionship
With master and his wife,
While I must bear the whip?
What doth the cur a kiss to draw?
Forsooth, he only gives his paw!
If that is all there needs to please,
I'll do the thing myself, with ease."
Possess'd with this bright notion,--
His master sitting on his chair,
At leisure in the open air,--
He ambled up, with awkward motion,
And put his talents to the proof;
Upraised his bruised and batter'd hoof,
And, with an amiable mien,
His master patted on the chin,
The action gracing with a word--
The fondest bray that e'er was heard!
O, such caressing was there ever?
Or melody with such a quaver?
"Ho! Martin! here! a club, a club bring!"
Out cried the master, sore offended.
So Martin gave the ass a drubbing,--
And so the comedy was ended.
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