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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, April 28, 2016

poem for a rescued donkey

british library (PD)
From the French Symbolist writer Leon Cladel (1834-1892) here is a lyrical poem of gratitude - an ass for his rescuer, a man for the gentle friendship of another creature.

My Ass

The cross was on his hide for all to see:
A mangy skeleton, scarred, scabbed and bowed,
Waiting the knacker's mercy. From the crowd
Five shillings ransomed him. He lives with me.

My lawns are by his busy tongue caressed;
His eyes reflect the shadowy trees that grow
Between the broad roofs and the sunset glow;
His patient sober body takes its rest.

When I draw near he welcomes me with glee,
With solemn antics, with tempestuous brays,
And pulsing nostrils sweet with lavender.

My little ass, be happy! and be free!
Eat, drink, and doze, enjoying all your days
Honour and liberty and provender.

-- Translated by Stella Browne, in Lloyd, B. (1921). The great kinship: an anthology of humanitarian poetry. London: G. Allen & Unwin ltd. 127.

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