Benjamin Franklin

He Who'd Please All

Once on a Time it by Chance came to pass,
That a Man and his Son were leading an Ass.
Cries a Passenger, Neighbor, you're shrewdly put to 't,
To lead an Ass empty, and trudge it on foot.
Nay, quoth the old Fellow, if Folk do so mind us
I'll e'en climb the Ass, and Boy mount behind us:
But as they jogg'd on they were laugh't and hisse'd,
What, two booby Lubbers on one sorry Beast!
This is such a Figure as never was known;
'T is a sign that the Ass is none of your own.
Then down gets the Boy, and walks by the Side,
Till another cries, What, you old Fool must you ride?
When you see the poor Child that 's weakly and young
Forc'd thro' thick and thin to trudge it along,
Then down gets the Father, and up gets the Son;
If this cannot please them we ne'er shall have done.
They had not gone far, but a Woman cries out,
O you young graceless Imp, you'll be hang'd, no doubt!
Must you ride an Ass, and your Father that's grey
E'en foot it, and pick out the best of his Way?
So now to please all they but one Trick lack,
And that was to carry the Ass a pick pack:
But when that was try'd, it appear'd such a Jest,
It occasioned more Laughter by half than the rest.
Thus he who 'd please all, and their Good liking gain,
Shows a deal Good Nature, but labours in vain.



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Benjamin Franklin