Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > Italian & Spanish
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vol. XIII: Italian—Spanish
 
The Musical Ass
By Tomás de Iriarte (1750–1791)
 
From “Fables”

THE FABLE which I now present
Occurr’d to me by accident;
And whether bad or excellent,
Is merely so by accident.
 
A stupid ass one morning went        5
Into a field by accident
And cropp’d his food and was content,
Until he spied by accident
A flute, which some oblivious gent
Had left behind by accident;        10
When, sniffing it with eager scent,
He breathed on it by accident,
And made the hollow instrument
Emit a sound by accident.
“Hurrah! hurrah!” exclaimed the brute,        15
“How cleverly I play the flute!”
 
A fool, in spite of nature’s bent,
May shine for once—by accident.
 
 
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