Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
And in whatever state a man be thrown,
’Tis that precisely they would wish their own;
Left the departed infants—­then their joy
Is to sustain each lovely girl and boy: 
Whatever calling his, whatever trade,
To that their chief attention has been paid;
His happy taste in all things they approve,
His friends they honour, and his food they love;
His wish for order, prudence in affairs,
An equal temper (thank their stars!), are theirs;
In fact, it seem’d to be a thing decreed,
And fix’d as fate, that marriage must succeed: 
Yet some, like Jones, with stubborn hearts and hard,
Can hear such claims and show them no regard. 
   Soon as our Farmer, like a general, found
By what strong foes he was encompass’d round,
Engage he dared not, and he could not fly,
But saw his hope in gentle parley lie;
With looks of kindness then, and trembling heart,
He met the foe, and art opposed to art. 
   Now spoke that foe insidious—­gentle tones,
And gentle looks, assumed for Farmer Jones: 
“Three girls,” the Widow cried, “a lively three
To govern well—­indeed it cannot be.” 
“Yes,” he replied, “it calls for pains and care: 
But I must bear it.”—­“Sir, you cannot bear;
Your son is weak, and asks a mother’s eye:” 
“That, my kind friend, a father’s may supply.” 
“Such growing griefs your very soul will tease;”
“To grieve another would not give me ease —
I have a mother,”—­“She, poor ancient soul! 
Can she the spirits of the young control? 
Can she thy peace promote, partake thy care,
Procure thy comforts, and thy sorrows share? 
Age is itself impatient, uncontroll’d:” 
But wives like mothers must at length be old.” 
Thou hast shrewd servants—­they are evils sore?”
Yet a shrewd mistress might afflict me more.” 
Wilt thou not be a weary, wailing man?”
Alas! and I must bear it as I can.” 
   Resisted thus, the Widow soon withdrew,
That in his pride the Hero might pursue;
And off his wonted guard, in some retreat
Find from a foe prepared entire defeat: 
But he was prudent; for he knew in flight
These Parthian warriors turn again and fight;
He but at freedom, not at glory aim’d,
And only safety by his caution claim’d. 
   Thus, when a great and powerful state decrees
Upon a small one, in its love, to seize —
It vows in kindness, to protect, defend,
And be the fond ally, the faithful friend;
It therefore wills that humbler state to place
Its hopes of safety in a fond embrace;
Then must that humbler state its wisdom prove
By kind rejection of such pressing love;
Must dread such dangerous friendship to commence,
And stand collected in its own defence: 
Our Farmer thus the proffer’d kindness fled,
And shunn’d the love that into bondage led. 
   The Widow failing, fresh besiegers came,
To share the fate of this retiring dame: 
And each foresaw a thousand ills attend
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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