The Old Man and the Ass

An old man, riding on his ass,
Had found a spot of thrifty grass,
And there turn'd loose his weary beast.
Old Grizzle, pleased with such a feast,
Flung up his heels, and caper'd round,
Then roll'd and rubb'd upon the ground,
And frisk'd and browsed and bray'd,
And many a clean spot made.
Arm'd men came on them as he fed:
'Let's fly,' in haste the old man said.
'And wherefore so?' the ass replied;
'With heavier burdens will they ride?'
'No,' said the man, already started.
'Then,' cried the ass, as he departed,
'I'll stay, and be—no matter whose;
Save you yourself, and leave me loose.
But let me tell you, ere you go,
(I speak plain French, you know,)
My master is my only foe.'
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