Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > German
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vol. XII: German
 
Artist and Public
By Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866)
 
THE DUMB man asked the blind man:
  “Canst do a favor, pray?
Could I the harper find, man?
  Hast seen him pass to-day?
I take, myself, small pleasure        5
  In harp-tones—almost none—
Yet much I’d like a measure
  Played for my deaf young son.”
 
The blind man quick made answer:
  “I saw him pass my gate;        10
I’ll send my lame young man, sir,
  To overtake him straight.”
At one look from his master,
  Away the cripple ran,
And faster, ever faster,        15
  He chased the harper-man.
 
The harper came, elated,
  And straight to work he went;
His arms were amputated;
  His toes to work he bent.        20
All hearts his playing captured;
  The deaf man was all ear;
The blind man gazed, enraptured;
  The dumb man shouted, “Hear!”
 
The lame boy fell to dancing,        25
  And leaped with all his might;
The scene was so entrancing,
  They stayed till late at night.
And when the concert ended,
  The public, justly proud,        30
The artist’s powers commended,
  Who, deeply grateful, bowed.
 
 
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