Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ASS SPEAKS, by KATHARINE TYNAN



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THE ASS SPEAKS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am the little ass of christ
Last Line: The whip, for jesus christ his sake.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hinkson, Katharine Tynan
Subject(s): Asses & Mules; Christmas; Duty; Jesus Christ; Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Religion; Women - Bible; Nativity, The; Virgin Mary; Theology


I AM the little ass of Christ,
I carried Him ere He was born,
And bore Him to His bitter Tryst
Unwilling, that Palm Sunday morn.

I was His Mother's servant, I,
I carried her from Nazareth,
Up to the shining hill-country,
To see the Lady Elizabeth.

The stones were many in my road,
By valleys steeper than a cup,
I, trembling for my heavenly Load,
Went cat-foot since I held It up.

To me the wonderful charge was given,
I, even the little ass, did go,
Bearing the very weight of Heaven;
So I crept cat-foot, sure and slow.

Again that night when He was born,
I carried my dear burdens twain,
And heard dull people's insolent scorn
Bidding Them to the night and rain.

I knelt beside my Brother Ox,
And saw the very Birth! Oh, Love!
And awe and wonder! Little folks
May see such sights nor die thereof.

The chilly Babe we breathed upon,
Warmed with our breath the frozen air,
Kneeling beside Our Lady's gown,
His only comfort, saving her.

I am beaten, weary-foot, ill-fed;
Men curse me: yet I bear withal
Christ's Cross betwixt my shoulders laid.
So I am honoured, though I'm small.

I served Christ Jesus and I bear
His Cross upon my rough grey back.
Dear Christian people, pray you, spare
The whip, for Jesus Christ His sake.





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