The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Wrangler
One day a shameless and impudent wight
Went into a shop full of steel wares bright,
Arranged with art upon every shelf.
He fancied they all were meant for himself;
And so, while the patient owner stood by,
The shining goods needs must handle and try,
And valued,—for how should a fool better know?—
The bad things high, and the good ones low,
And all with an easy self-satisfied face;
Then, having bought nothing, he left the place.
The tradesman now felt sorely vexed,
So when the fellow went there next,
A lock of steel made quite red hot.
The other cried upon the spot:
"Such wares as these, who'd ever buy?
The steel is tarnished shamefully,"—
Then pulled it, like a fool, about,
But soon set up a piteous shout.
"Pray what's the matter?" the shopman spoke;
The other replied: "Faith, a very cool joke!"