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The Miller and His Ass

Illustration 203

The Miller and His Ass

A rustic  bringing to the fair

An ass, that he might show him there,

Sleek and well looking let him trot;

He followed with his son on foot.

The first they met upon the road,

At our pedestrians laugh'd loud,

"Look at those two legged asses," cried,

"Who trudge on foot when they might ride!"

The father with the hint complies:

Makes the boy mount. Now other cries

Assail their ears; by graybeards blam'd;

"Sirrah, you ought to be asham'd

To ride and let your father walk!"

Again he listened to their talk.

The sire got up, the youth got down;

When passing through a country town,

At every door the mothers said,

"A murrain light on thy old head!

Hast thou no bowels for thy kind?

At least take up the lad behind."

This done they next were thus address'd:

"Two lubbers on a little beast?

They fitter are to carry him!"

Complying with this senseless whim,

Upon a pole his feet in air,

The ass they on their shoulders bear.

Now laughing shouts spread far and wide.

The ass's ligatures untied,

"Proceed, my son," then said the man:

"To please the world, do all we can,

Since 'tis impossible, you see,

To please ourselves content we'll be."

Illustration 205