Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Tomás de Iriarte - 1782

Translated into English
  by Thomas Roscoe - 1921

Source: An Argosy of Fables

Original title (Spanish):
El burro flautista

Country of origin: Spain


English - aligned

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The Ass and the Flute

Tomás de Iriarte / Thomas Roscoe

YOU must know that this ditty.
This little romance,
Be it dull, be it witty.
Arose from mere chance.

Near a certain enclosure.
Not far from my manse,
An Ass with composure
Was browsing by chance.

As he went along prying.
With sober advance,
A shepherd's Flute lying
He found there by chance.

Our amateur started,
And eyed it askance.
Drew nearer and snorted
Upon it by chance.

The breath of the brute. Sir,
Drew music for once;
It entered the Flute, Sir,
And blew it by chance.

"Ah!" cried he in wonder,
"How comes this to pass?
Who will now dare to slander
The skill of an Ass?"

And Asses in plenty,
I see at a glance
Will, one time in twenty.
Succeed by mere chance.