Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
With the grim monsters of your ugly race,
That from their canvas staring, make me dread
Through the dark chambers, where they hang, to tread. 
No friend nor neighbour comes to give that joy
Which all things here must banish or destroy. 
Where is the promised coach? the pleasant ride? 
Oh! what a fortune has a Farmer’s bride! 
Your sordid pride has placed me just above
Your hired domestics—­and what pays me?  Love! 
A selfish fondness I endure each hour,
And share unwitness’d pomp, unenvied power. 
I hear your folly, smile at your parade,
And see your favourite dishes duly made;
Then am I richly dress’d for you t’admire,
Such is my duty and my Lord’s desire: 
Is this a life for youth, for health, for joy? 
Are these my duties—­this my base employ? 
No! to my father’s house will I repair,
And make your idle wealth support me there. 
Was it your wish to have an humble bride,
For bondage thankful?  Curse upon your pride! 
Was it a slave you wanted?  You shall see,
That, if not happy, I at least am free: 
Well, sir! your answer.”—­Silent stood the ’Squire,
As looks a miser at his house on fire;
Where all he deems is vanish’d in that flame,
Swept from the earth his substance and his name,
So, lost to every promised joy of life,
Our ’Squire stood gaping at his angry wife; —
His fate, his ruin, where he saw it vain
To hope for peace, pray, threaten, or complain;
And thus, betwixt his wonder at the ill
And his despair, there stood he gaping still. 
   “Your answer, sir!—­Shall I depart a spot
I thus detest?”—­“Oh, miserable lot!”
Exclaim’d the man.  “Go, serpent! nor remain
To sharpen woe by insult and disdain;
A nest of harpies was I doom’d to meet;
What plots, what combinations of deceit! 
I see it now—­all plann’d, design’d, contrived;
Served by that villain—­by this fury wived —
What fate is mine!  What wisdom, virtue truth,
Can stand if demons set their traps for youth? 
He lose his way? vile dog! he cannot lose
The way a villain through his life pursues;
And thou, deceiver! thou afraid to move,
And hiding close the serpent in the dove! 
I saw—­but, fated to endure disgrace,
Unheeding saw—­the fury in thy face,
And call’d it spirit.  Oh:  I might have found
Fraud and imposture all the kindred round! 
A nest of vipers” —
                    “Sir, I’ll not admit
These wild effusions of your angry wit: 
Have you that value, that we all should use
Such mighty arts for such important views? 
Are you such prize—­and is my state so fair,
That they should sell their souls to get me there? 
Think you that we alone our thoughts disguise? 
When, in pursuit of some contended prize,
Mask we alone the heart, and soothe whom we despise? 
Speak you of craft and subtle schemes, who know
That all your wealth you to deception owe;
Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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