Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Tales.
Of vile rebuke, example to his flock: 
But let this Rector, thus severe and proud,
Change his wide surplice for a narrow shroud,
And I will place within his seat a youth,
Train’d by the Graces to explain the Truth;
Then shall the flock with gentle hand be led,
By wisdom won, and by compassion fed.” 
   This purposed Teacher was a sister’s son,
Who of her children gave the priesthood one;
And she had early train’d for this employ
The pliant talents of her college-boy: 
At various times her letters painted all
Her brother’s views—­the manners of the Hall;
The rector’s harshness, and the mischief made
By chiding those whom preachers should persuade: 
This led the youth to views of easy life,
A friendly patron, an obliging wife;
His tithe, his glebe, the garden, and the steed,
With books as many as he wish’d to read. 
   All this accorded with the Uncle’s will: 
He loved a priest compliant, easy, still;
Sums he had often to his favourite sent,
“To be,” he wrote, “in manly freedom spent;
For well it pleased his spirit to assist
An honest lad, who scorn’d a Methodist.” 
His mother, too, in her maternal care,
Bade him of canting hypocrites beware: 
Who from his duties would his heart seduce,
And make his talents of no earthly use. 
   Soon must a trial of his worth be made —
The ancient priest is to the tomb convey’d;
And the Youth summon’d from a serious friend,
His guide and host, new duties to attend. 
   Three months before, the nephew and the ’Squire
Saw mutual worth to praise and to admire;
And though the one too early left his wine,
The other still exclaim’d—­“My boy will shine: 
Yes, I perceive that he will soon improve,
And I shall form the very guide I love;
Decent abroad, he will my name defend,
And when at home, be social and unbend.” 
   The plan was specious, for the mind of James
Accorded duly with his uncle’s schemes;
He then aspired not to a higher name
Than sober clerks of moderate talents claim;
Gravely to pray, and rev’rendly to preach,
Was all he saw, good youth! within his reach: 
Thus may a mass of sulphur long abide,
Cold and inert, but, to the flame applied,
Kindling it blazes, and consuming turns
To smoke and poison, as it boils and burns. 
   James, leaving college, to a Preacher stray’d;
What call’d he knew not—­but the call obey’d;
Mild, idle, pensive, ever led by those
Who could some specious novelty propose;
Humbly he listen’d, while the preacher dwelt
On touching themes, and strong emotions felt;
And in this night was fix’d that pliant will
To one sole point, and he retains it still. 
   At first his care was to himself confined;
Himself assured, he gave it to mankind: 
His zeal grew active—­honest, earnest zeal,
And comfort dealt to him, he long’d to deal;
He to his favourite preacher now withdrew,
Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook