Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
Orlando angry cried,
“And these proud farmers! yes I hate their pride,
See! that sleek fellow, how he strides along,
Strong as an ox, and ignorant as strong;
Can yon close crops a single eye detain
But he who counts the profits of the grain? 
And these vile beans with deleterious smell,
Where is there beauty? can a mortal tell? 
These deep fat meadows I detest; it shocks
One’s feelings there to see the grazing ox; —
For slaughter fatted, as a lady’s smile
Rejoices man, and means his death the while. 
Lo! now the sons of labour! every day
Employ’d in toil and vex’d in every way;
Theirs is but mirth assumed, and they conceal,
In their affected joys, the ills they feel: 
I hate these long green lanes; there’s nothing sees
In this vile country but eternal green;
Woods! waters! meadows!  Will they never end? 
’Tis a vile prospect:  —­Gone to see a friend?”
   Still on he rode! a mansion fair and tall
Rose on his view—­the pride of Loddon Hall: 
Spread o’er the park he saw the grazing steer,
The full-fed steed, and herds of bounding deer: 
On a clear stream the vivid sunbeams play’d,
Through noble elms, and on the surface made
That moving picture, checker’d light and shade;
Th’ attended children, there indulged to stray,
Enjoy’d and gave new beauty to the day;
Whose happy parents from their room were seen
Pleased with the sportive idlers on the green. 
   “Well!” said Orlando, “and for one so bless’d,
A thousand reasoning wretches are distressed;
Nay, these, so seeming glad, are grieving like the rest: 
Man is a cheat—­and all but strive to hide
Their inward misery by their outward pride. 
What do yon lofty gates and walls contain,
But fruitless means to sooth unconquer’d pain? 
The parents read each infant daughter’s smile,
Form’d to seduce, encouraged to beguile;
They view the boys unconscious of their fate,
Sure to be tempted, sure to take the bait;
These will be Lauras, sad Orlandos these —
There’s guilt and grief in all one hears and sees.” 
Our Trav’ller, lab’ring up a hill, look’d down
Upon a lively, busy, pleasant town;
All he beheld were there alert, alive,
The busiest bees that ever stock’d a hive: 
A pair were married, and the bells aloud
Proclaim’d their joy, and joyful seem’d the crowd;
And now, proceeding on his way, he spied,
Bound by strong ties, the bridegroom and the bride,
Each by some friends attended, near they drew,
And spleen beheld them with prophetic view. 
   “Married! nay mad!” Orlando cried in scorn;
“Another wretch on this unlucky morn: 
What are this foolish mirth, these idle joys? 
Attempts to stifle doubt and fear by noise: 
To me these robes, expressive of delight,
Foreshow distress, and only grief excite;
And for these cheerful friends, will they behold
Their wailing brood in sickness, want, and cold;
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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