The Donkey Poem Summary and Line by Line Explanation in English Class 6th


The poet talks about a foal while describing its delicate features. The poem is divided in four stanzas and the rhyme scheme is as follows 

First stanza- abacded 

Second stanza- abcbdefd

Third stanza- abcbefeg

Fourth stanza- abcb

Stanza I

I saw a donkey one day old.
His head was too big
for his neck to hold;
His legs were shaky
and long and loose,
They rocketed and staggered
and weren’t much use.

The poet recalls seeing a newborn foal, one day old. The poet describes it as having a big head and a delicate neck that could hardly hold the weight. Shaky little legs that rocked and staggered, they were of not much use to the little donkey. The little legs couldn’t carry him far or too fast.

Stanza II

He tried to gambol
and frisk a bit,
but he wasn’t quite sure
of the trick of it.
His queer little coat
was soft and grey
and curled at his neck
in a lovely way.

The little donkey tried to play around by jumping and frisking but he was not very confident of his tricks. His grey hair was soft and lovely as it curled at his neck.

Stanza III

His face was wistful
and left no doubt
that he felt life needed
some thinking about.
So he blundered round
in venturesome quest,
and then lay flat on the ground
to rest.

His little face was full of hope and he understood that life was not something to be taken lightly, but something to ponder over. He stumbled around in an attempt to do something adventurous but then got tired and laid down.

Stanza IV

He looked so little
and weak and slim,
I prayed the world
might be good to him.

When the poet looked at his little and slim fragile self, he could not help but pray for the world to be nice towards the foal and treat him well.