Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

""Tis true, no hero, but a farmer sues"Slow in his speech, but worthy in his views; "With him you cannot that affliction prove, "That rends the bosom of the poor, in love: "Health, comfort, competence, and cheerful days, "Your friends' approval, and your father's praise, "Will crown the deed, and you escape their fate "Who plan so wildly, and are wise too late."

The Damsel heard; at first th' advice was strange, Yet wrought a happy, nay, a speedy change: "I have no care," she said, when next they met, "But one may wonder, he is silent yet; "He looks around him with his usual stare, "And utters nothing-not that I shall care."

This pettish humour pleased th' experienced Friend

None need despair, whose silence can offend; "Should I," resumed the thoughtful Lass, "consent "To hear the man, the man may now repent: "Think you my sighs shall call him from the plough,

"Or give one hint, that You may woo me now?'"

"Persist, my love," replied the Friend, "and gain "A parent's praise, that cannot be in vain.”

The father saw the change, but not the cause, And gave the alter'd maid his fond applause; The coarser manners she in part removed, In part endured, improving and improved;

She spoke of household works, she rose betimes,
And said neglect and indolence were crimes;
The various duties of their life she weigh'd,
And strict attention to her dairy paid;
The names of servants now familiar grew,
And fair Lucinda's from her mind withdrew;
As prudent travellers for their ease assume
Their modes and language to whose lands they

come:

So to the Farmer this fair Lass inclined,
Gave to the business of the Farm her mind;
To useful arts she turn'd her hand and eye;
And by her manners told him—“You may try.”

Th' observing Lover more attention paid,
With growing pleasure, to the alter'd maid;
He fear'd to lose her, and began to see
That a slim beauty might a helpmate be:
'Twixt hope and fear he now the lass address'd,
And in his Sunday robe his love express'd:
She felt no chilling dread, no thrilling joy,
Nor was too quickly kind, too slowly coy;
But still she lent an unreluctant ear

To all the rural business of the year;

Till love's strong hopes endured no more delay,
And Harry ask'd, and Nancy named the day.

"A happy change! my Boy," the father cried: "How lost your sister all her school-day pride?" The Youth replied, "It is the Widow's deed; "The cure is perfect, and was wrought with speed."

"And comes there, Boy, this benefit of books, "Of that smart dress, and of those dainty looks? "We must be kind-some offerings from the Farm "To the White Cot will speak our feelings warm; "Will show that people, when they know the fact, "Where they have judged severely, can retract. "Oft have I smiled, when I beheld her pass "With cautious step, as if she hurt the grass; "Where, if a snail's retreat she chanced to storm, "She look'd as begging pardon of the worm; "And what, said I, still laughing at the view, "Have these weak creatures in the world to do? "But some are made for action, some to speak; 66 And, while she looks so pitiful and meek, "Her words are weighty, though her nerves are weak."

Soon told the village-bells the rite was done, That join'd the school-bred Miss and Farmer's Son; Her former habits some slight scandal raised, But real worth was soon perceived and praised; She, her neat taste imparted to the Farm, And he, th' improving skill and vigorous arm.

(1) [The Widow's Tale' is rather of the facetious order. It contains the history of a farmer's daughter, who comes home from boardingschool a great deal too fine to tolerate the gross habits, or submit to the filthy drudgery, of her father's house; but is induced, by the warning history and sensible exhortations of a neighbouring Widow, in whom she expected to find a sentimental companion, to reconcile herself to all those abominations, and marry a jolly young farmer in the neighbourhood. The account of her horrors, on first coming down, is in Mr. Crabbe's best style of Dutch painting- a little coarse, and needlessly minute - but perfectly true, and marvellously coloured. — JEFFREY.]

TALE VIII.

THE MOTHER.

What though you have beauty,
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless? As You Like It.

I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed.

As You Like It.

Wilt thou love such a woman? What! to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee!- Not to be endured. As You Like It.

Your son,

As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation hence.

All's Well that Ends Well.

Be this sweet Helen's knell;
He left a wife whose words all ears took captive,
Whose dear perfections hearts that scorn'd to serve
Humbly call'd Mistress.

All's Well that Ends Well.

« ForrigeFortsett »