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THE ASS AND THE FLUTE

This little fable heard,
    It good or ill may be;
But it has just occurred
    Thus accidentally.

Passing my abode,
    Some fields adjoining me
A big ass on his road
    Came accidentally.

And laid upon the spot,
    A Flute he chanced to see,
Some shepherd had forgot
    There accidentally.

The animal in front
    To scan it nigh came he,
And snuffing loud as wont,
    Blew accidentally.

The air it chanced around
    The pipe went passing free
And thus the Flute a sound
    Gave accidentally.

“O then,” exclaimed the Ass,
    “I know to play it fine;
And who for bad shall class
    This music asinine?”

Without the rules of art,
    Even asses, we agree,
May once succeed in part,
    Thus accidentally.

firma autógrafa
Tomás de Iriarte
English translation by James Kennedy


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James Kennedy. "Modern poets and poetry of Spain" (1860). Produced by Cornell University Library, 1992.