Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
Or evil question’d not, nor understood: 
Oh! had I little but the book possess’d,
I might have read it, and enjoy’d my rest.” 
   Alas! poor Allen—­through his wealth was seen
Crimes that by poverty conceal’d had been: 
Faults that in dusty pictures rest unknown,
Are in an instant through the varnish shown. 
   He told their cruel mercy; how at last,
In Christian kindness for the merits past,
They spared his forfeit life, but bade him fly,
Or for his crime and contumacy die;
Fly from all scenes, all objects of delight: 
His wife, his children, weeping in his sight,
All urging him to flee, he fled, and cursed his flight. 
   He next related how he found a way,
Guideless and grieving, to Campeachy-Bay: 
There in the woods he wrought, and there, among
Some lab’ring seamen, heard his native tongue: 
The sound, one moment, broke upon his pain
With joyful force; he long’d to hear again: 
Again he heard; he seized an offer’d hand,
“And when beheld you last our native land!”
He cried, “and in what country? quickly say.” 
The seamen answer’d—­strangers all were they;
Only one at his native port had been;
He, landing once, the quay and church had seen,
For that esteem’d; but nothing more he knew. 
Still more to know, would Allen join the crew,
Sail where they sail’d, and, many a peril past,
They at his kinsman’s isle their anchor cast;
But him they found not, nor could one relate
Aught of his will, his wish, or his estate. 
This grieved not Allen; then again he sail’d
For England’s coast, again his fate prevailed: 
War raged, and he, an active man and strong,
Was soon impress’d, and served his country long. 
By various shores he pass’d, on various seas,
Never so happy as when void of ease. —
And then he told how in a calm distress’d,
Day after day his soul was sick of rest;
When, as a log upon the deep they stood,
Then roved his spirit to the inland wood;
Till, while awake, he dream’d, that on the seas
Were his loved home, the hill, the stream, the trees: 
He gazed, he pointed to the scenes:  —­“There stand
My wife, my children, ’tis my lovely land. 
See! there my dwelling—­oh! delicious scene
Of my best life:  —­unhand me—­are ye men?”
And thus the frenzy ruled him, till the wind
Brush’d the fond pictures from the stagnant mind. 
   He told of bloody fights, and how at length
The rage of battle gave his spirits strength: 
’Twas in the Indian seas his limb he lost,
And he was left half-dead upon the coast;
But living gain’d, ’mid rich aspiring men,
A fair subsistence by his ready pen. 
“Thus,” he continued, “pass’d unvaried years,
Without events producing hopes or fears.” 
Augmented pay procured him decent wealth,
But years advancing undermined his health;
Then oft-times in delightful dream he flew
To England’s shore, and scenes his childhood
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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