The Ass And The Little Dog.

A poem by Jean de La Fontaine

[1]

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![2] 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.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Ass And The Little Dog.' by Jean de La Fontaine

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy