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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866)

Artist and Public

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

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;

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,

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.

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,

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,

The artist’s powers commended,

Who, deeply grateful, bowed.