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She calls, she screams, with wild surprise.
“ Haste, John, and catch these birds !” she cries.
John hears not; but to crown her shame,
In at her call her husband came.
Sternly he frowned as thus he spoke :
“ Thus is your vowed allegiance broke!
Self-ignorance led you to believe
You did not share the sin of Eve.
Like hers, how blest was your condition!
Like Heaven's, how small my prohibition!
Yet you, though fed with every dainty,
Sat pining in the midst of plenty;
This dish, thus singled from the rest,
Of your obedience was the test;
Your mind, unbroke by self-denial,
Could not sustain this slender trial.
Humility from this be taught;
Learn candor to another's fault.
Go; know, like Eve, from this sad dinner,
You're both a vain and curious sinner."
THE FARMER AND HIS THREE SONS.
A FARMER, who some wealth possessed,
With three fine boys was also blessed;
The lads were healthy, stout, and young,
And neither wanted sense nor tongue.
Tom, Will, and Jack, like other boys,
Loved tops and marbles, sport and toys.
The father scouted that false plan,
That money only makes the man;
But, to the best of his discerning,
Was bent on giving them good learning :
He was a man of observation,
No scholar, yet had penetration;
So, with due care, a school he sought,
Where his young sons might well be taught.
Quoth he, “I know not which rehearses
Most properly his themes or verses;
Yet I can do a father's part,
And school the temper, mind, and heart;
The natural bent of each I'll know,
And trifles best that bent may show."
'Twas just before the closing year,
When Christmas holidays were near,
The farmer called to see his boys,
And asked how each his time employs.
Quoth Will, “ There's father, boys, without;
He's brought us something good, no doubt."
The father sees their merry faces,
With joy beholds them, and embraces.
“Come, boys, of home you'll have your fill.”
“ Yes, Christmas now is near," says Will;
“'Tis just twelve days—these notches see-
My notches with the days agree.”
“Well," said the sire, " again I'll come,
And gladly fetch my brave boys home.
You two the dappled mare shall ride,
Jack mount the pony by my side.
Meantime, my lads, I've brought you here
No small provision of good cheer."
Then from his pocket straight he takes
A vast profusion of plum-cakes;
He counts them out, a plenteous store ;
No boy shall have or less or more ;
Twelve cakes he gives to each dear son,
When each expected only one;
And then, with many a kind expression,
He leaves them to their own discretion ;
Resolved to mark the use each made
Of what he to their hands conveyed.
The twelve days past, he comes once more, And brings the horses to the door ; The boys with rapture see appear The pony and the dappled mare; Each moment now an hour they count, And crack their whips and long to mount.
As with the boys his ride he takes,
He asks the history of the cakes.
Says Will, “ Dear father, life is short;
So I resolved to make quick sport;
The cakes were all so nice and sweet,
I thought I'd have one jolly treat ;
• Why should I balk,' said I, my taste ?
I'll make at once a hearty feast."
So snugly by myself I fed,
When every boy was gone to bed ;
I gorged them all, both paste and plum,
And did not spare a single crumb;
Indeed they made me, to my sorrow.
As sick as death upon the morrow;
This made me mourn my rich repast,
And wish I had not fed so fast.”
Quoth Jack, “ I was not such a dunce,
To eat my quantum up at once;
And though the boys all longed to clutch 'em,
I would not let a creature touch 'em;
Nor, though the whole were in my power,
Would I one single cake devour;
Thanks to the use of keys and locks,
They're all now snug within my box:
The mischief is, by hoarding long,
They're grown so mouldy and so strong,
I find they won't be fit to eat,
And I have lost my father's treat."
“Well, Tom,” the anxious parent cries, “ How did you manage?” Tom replies, “I shunned each wide extreme to take, To glut my maw, or hoard my cake; I thought each day its wants would have, And appetite again might crave; Twelve school-days still my notches counted, To twelve my father's cakes amounted ; So every day I took out one, But never ate my cake alone; With every needy boy I shared, And more than half I always spared. One every day, 'twixt self and friend, Has brought my dozen to an end : My last remaining cake to-day I would not touch, but gave away;
A boy was sick, and scarce could eat;
To him it proved a welcome treat:
Jack called me spendthrift not to save ;
Will dubbed me fool because I gave;
But when our last day came, I smiled,
For Will's were gone, and Jack's were spoiled :
Not hoarding much, nor eating fast,
I served a needy friend at last."
These tales the father's thoughts employ;
“ By these," said he, “ I know each boy:
Yet Jack, who hoarded what he had,
The world will call a frugal lad;
And selfish, gormandizing Will
Will meet with friends and favorers still ;
While moderate Tom, so wise and cool,
The mad and vain will deem a fool;
But I his sober plan approve,
And Tom has gained his father's love.
So, when our day of life is past,
And all are fairly judged at last,
The miser and the sensual find
How each misused the gifts assigned;
While he, who wisely spends and gives
To the true ends of living lives :
'Tis self-denying moderation
Gains the Great Father's approbation.
IN A DIALOGUE BETWEEN DICK AND JOHN.
As at their work two weavers sat,
Beguiling time with friendly chat,
They touched upon the price of meat,
So high, a weaver scarce could eat.
“What with my brats and sickly wife,”
Quoth Dick, “ I'm almost tired of life;
So hard my work, so poor my fare,
'Tis more than mortal man can bear.
“ How glorious is the rich man's state!
His house so fine! his wealth so great!
Heaven is unjust, you must agree;
Why all to him ? why none to me?
“In spite of what the Scripture teaches,
In spite of all the parson preaches,
This world (indeed I've thought so long).
Is ruled, methinks, extremely wrong.
“ Where'er I look, howe'er I range,
'Tis all confused, and hard, and strange;
The good are troubled and oppressed,
And all the wicked are the blessed."
Quoth John, “Our ignorance is the cause
Why thus we blame our Maker's laws,
Parts of his ways alone we know ;
'Tis all that man can see below.
VOL. I. 17