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Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 238 pages of information about Tales.
And still she look’d as in the times of old,
Ere his last farm the erring husband sold;
While yet the mansion stood in decent state,
And paupers waited at the well-known gate. 
“Alas, my son!” the Mother cried, “and why
That silent grief and oft-repeated sigh? 
True we are poor, but thou hast never felt
Pangs to thy father for his error dealt;
Pangs from strong hopes of visionary gain,
For ever raised, and ever found in vain. 
He rose unhappy from his fruitless schemes,
As guilty wretches from their blissful dreams;
But thou wert then, my son, a playful child,
Wondering at grief, gay, innocent, and wild;
Listening at times to thy poor mother’s sighs
With curious looks and innocent surprise;
Thy father dying, thou my virtuous boy,
My comfort always, waked my soul to joy;
With the poor remnant of our fortune left,
Thou hast our station of its gloom bereft: 
Thy lively temper, and thy cheerful air,
Have cast a smile on sadness and despair;
Thy active hand has dealt to this poor space
The bliss of plenty and the charm of grace;
And all around us wonder when they find
Such taste and strength, such skill and power combined;
There is no mother, Colin, no not one,
But envies me so kind, so good a son;
By thee supported on this failing side,
Weakness itself awakes a parent’s pride: 
I bless the stroke that was my grief before,
And feel such joy that ’tis disease no more;
Shielded by thee, my want becomes my wealth,
And, soothed by Colin, sickness smiles at health;
The old men love thee, they repeat thy praise,
And say, like thee were youth in earlier days;
While every village-maiden cries, ’How gay,
How smart, how brave, how good is Colin Grey!’
   “Yet art thou sad; alas! my son, I know
Thy heart is wounded, and the cure is slow;
Fain would I think that Jesse still may come
To share the comforts of our rustic home: 
She surely loved thee; I have seen the maid,
When thou hast kindly brought the Vicar aid —
When thou hast eased his bosom of its pain,
Oh!  I have seen her—­she will come again.” 
   The Matron ceased; and Colin stood the while
Silent, but striving for a grateful smile;
He then replied—­“Ah! sure, had Jesse stay’d,
And shared the comforts of our sylvan shade,
The tenderest duty and the fondest love
Would not have fail’d that generous heart to move;
A grateful pity would have ruled her breast,
And my distresses would have made me bless’d. 
   “But she is gone, and ever has in view
Grandeur and taste,—­and what will then ensue? 
Surprise and then delight in scenes so fair and new;
For many a day, perhaps for many a week,
Home will have charms, and to her bosom speak;
But thoughtless ease, and affluence, and pride,
Seen day by day, will draw the heart aside: 
And she at length, though gentle and sincere,
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