Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
For breach of promise, guilty men to fright;
Love, marriage, murder, were the themes, with these,
All that on idle, ardent spirits seize;
Robbers at land and pirates on the main,
Enchanters foil’d, spells broken, giants slain;
Legends of love, with tales of halls and bowers,
Choice of rare songs, and garlands of choice flowers,
And all the hungry mind without a choice devours. 
   From village-children kept apart by pride,
With such enjoyments, and without a guide,
Inspired by feelings all such works infused,
John snatch’d a pen, and wrote as he perused: 
With the like fancy he could make his knight
Slay half a host, and put the rest to flight;
With the like knowledge he could make him ride
From isle to isle at Parthenissa’s side;
And with a heart yet free, no busy brain
Form’d wilder notions of delight and pain,
The raptures smiles create, the anguish of disdain. 
   Such were the fruits of John’s poetic toil —
Weeds, but still proofs of vigour in the soil: 
He nothing purposed but with vast delight,
Let Fancy loose, and wonder’d at her flight: 
His notions of poetic worth were high,
And of his own still-hoarded poetry; —
These to his father’s house he bore with pride,
A miser’s treasure, in his room to hide;
Till spurr’d by glory, to a reading friend,
He kindly show’d the sonnets he had penn’d: 
With erring judgment, though with heart sincere,
That friend exclaim’d, “These beauties must appear.’ 
In magazines they claim’d their share of fame,
Though undistinguish’d by their author’s name;
And with delight the young enthusiast found
The muse of Marcus with applauses crown’d. 
This heard the father, and with some alarm;
“The boy,” said he, “will neither trade nor farm,
He for both law and physic is unfit,
Wit he may have, but cannot live on wit: 
Let him his talents then to learning give,
Where verse is honour’d, and where poets live.” 
   John kept his terms at college unreproved,
Took his degree, and left the life he loved;
Not yet ordain’d, his leisure he employ’d
In the light labours he so much enjoy’d;
His favourite notions and his daring views
Were cherish’d still, and he adored the Muse. 
   “A little time, and he should burst to light,
And admiration of the world excite;
And every friend, now cool and apt to blame
His fond pursuit, would wonder at his fame.” 
When led by fancy, and from view retired,
He call’d before him all his heart desired;
“Fame shall be mine, then wealth shall I possess,
And beauty next an ardent lover bless;
For me the maid shall leave her nobler state,
Happy to raise and share her poet’s fate.” 
He saw each day his father’s frugal board,
With simple fare by cautious prudence stored: 
Where each indulgence was foreweigh’d with care,
And the grand maxims were to save and spare: 
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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