The Humble Little Ass

Composed by the late Brother Stephen Russell, Effin, Co Limerick

I saw him on a limestone road,
There I saw the great Saint Francis
About a year ago,
Who God's praises all did sing
He was enjoying a dustbath
And his hymns today so sweet and gay,
And his eyes were all aglow.
Around the world do ring.

The scene was so entrancing
He chastised his worn body
I simply could not pass
So that to perfection it might pass,
So I watched in fascination
Then jokingly he christened it,
The humble little ass.
His little brother ass.

His hair hung long and matted,
I watched him very slowly rise
I suppose that no one cared
And then all clear and stark,
His hooves were long and misshapen
I saw outlined, proportioned there,
And should have been well pared,
The cross upon his back.


For him no heated stable,
Oh: how I prayed as there I stayed
Or succulent bran mash
And he on his way did pass
Just a nibble by the roadside
Oh: God grant to me, that I may be
For the humble little ass.
As privileged as the ass.