HE WHO 'D PLEASE ALL
by: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
- NCE 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.
POEMS BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
"He Who 'd Please All"
is reprinted from Poor Richard's Almanack, 1743.