(Pietro Lorenzetti, Assisi fresco: San Francesco S Transept
So, if you are challenged about the ass,
just say ‘ The Lord hath need of it,’ He said.
I’m coming to them as a different king,
envisaging another kind of rule.
My humble steed will show them that the meek
will ultimately rule over the earth.
The disciples obeyed, but ‘What on earth
is He doing?’ they questioned. ‘A dumb ass!’
We hope its owner, when he’s asked, is meek;
remembers once upon a time, he said
he’d lend Him it. For Friendship’s golden rule
is not to lend, unless it’s to a king.
Growing crowds cried: ‘Hosanna to the King!’
‘Blessed be He who comes down to our Earth
in the name of the Lord. O, let Him rule
We recall Balaam and his talking ass.
What miracle will there be next?’ They said:
‘It’s strange a Messiah should look so meek.’
The Pharisees were anything but meek;
were unimpressed by any kind of king.
‘The world has gone after Him!’ they all said.
‘They think their Saviour has come down to Earth.
Well, they are all simple peasants. His ass
may well understand more of Roman rule.
This upstart seems to break every rule;
He affects to be quite harmless and meek.
We recognise reference to an ass
and how, sitting on a colt, Sion’s king
will come. He’s announcing His reign on Earth.
We don’t like this Hosanna! stuff,’ they said.
‘Master, rebuke your disciples!‘ they said.
‘Who do you think you are that you should rule
over us? We’ll teach you how to be meek.
Apart from Caesar, there isn’t a king.
Anyone who disagrees is an ass.
But the people cast cloaks before the ass,
acknowledging Christ’s rule; hailing Him King
and said: May this meek one rule forever!