A FATHER's ADVICE TO HIS SON.
1 DEEP in a grove by cypress shaded,
2 Where mid day sun had seldom shone,
3 Or noise the solemn scene invaded,
4 Save some afflicted Muse's moan;
5 A Swain towards full ag'd manhood wending,
6 Sat sorrowing at the close of day,
7 At whose fond side a Boy attending,
8 Lisp'd half his father's cares away.
9 The father's eyes no object wrested,
10 But on the smiling prattler hung,
11 Till, what his throbbing heart suggested,
12 These accents trembled from his tongue.
13 "My youth's first hopes, my manhood's treasure,
14 " My prattling innocent, attend,
15 "Nor fear rebuke, or sour displeasure,
16 " A father's loveliest name is Friend.
17 "Some truths, from long experience flowing,
18 " Worth more than royal grants receive,
19 "For truths are wealth of heaven's bestowing,
20 " Which kings have seldom power to give.
21 "Since from an ancient race descended
22 " You boast an unattainted blood,
23 "By yours be their fair fame attended,
24 " And claim by birthright to be good.
25 "In love for every fellow-creature,
26 " Superior rise above the crowd;
27 "What most ennobles human nature
28 " Was ne'er the portion of the croud.
29 "Be thine the generous heart that borrows
30 " From others joys a friendly glow,
31 "And for each hapless neighbour's sorrows,
32 " Throbs with a sympathetic woe.
33 "This is the temper most endearing;
34 " Tho' wide proud Pomp her banners spreads,
35 "An heavenlier power good-nature bearing,
36 " Each heart in willing thraldom leads.
37 "Taste not from Fame's uncertain fountain,
38 " The peace-destroying streams that flow;
39 "Nor from Ambition's dangerous mountain,
40 " Look down upon the world below.
41 "The princely pine on hills exalted,
42 " Whose lofty branches cleave the sky,
43 "By winds long brav'd, at last assaulted,
44 " Is headlong whirl'd in dust to lie;
45 "Whilst the mild rose more safely growing
46 " Low in its unaspiring vale,
47 "Amidst retirement's shelter blowing,
48 " Exchanges sweets with every gale.
49 "Wish not for Beauty's darling features,
50 " Moulded by Nature's fondling power;
51 "For fairest forms 'mong human creatures,
52 " Shine but the pageants of an hour.
53 "I saw, the pride of all the meadow,
54 " At noon, a gay Narcissus blow
55 "Upon a river's bank, whose shadow
56 " Bloom'd in the silver waves below.
57 "By noon-tide's heat its youth was wasted,
58 " The waters as they pass'd, complain'd;
59 "At eve its glories all were blasted,
60 " And not one former tint remain'd.
61 "Nor let vain Wit's deceitful glory
62 " Lead you from Wisdom's path astray:
63 "What Genius lives renown'd in story,
64 " To happiness who found the way?
65 "In yonder mead behold that vapor,
66 " Whose vivid beams illusive play,
67 "Far off it seems a friendly taper,
68 " To guide the traveller on his way;
69 "But should some hapless wretch pursuing,
70 " Tread where the treacherous meteors glow,
71 "He'd find, too late his rashness rueing,
72 " That fatal quicksands lurk below.
73 "In life such bubbles nought admiring,
74 " Gilt with false light, and fill'd with air,
75 "Do you, from pageant crowds retiring,
76 " To peace in Virtue's cot repair.
77 "There seek the never-wasted treasure,
78 " Which mutual love and friendship give,
79 "Domestic comfort, spotless pleasure,
80 " And bless'd and blessing you will live.
81 "If Heaven with children crowns your dwelling,
82 " As mine its bounty does with you,
83 "In fondness fatherly excelling
84 " The example you have felt pursue. "
85 He paus'd — for tenderly caressing
86 The darling of his wounded heart,
87 Looks had means only of expressing
88 Thoughts language never could impart.
89 Now Night her mournful mantle spreading,
90 Had rob'd with black the horizon round,
91 And dank dews from her tresses shedding,
92 With genial moisture bath'd the ground:
93 When back to city follies flying,
94 'Midst Custom's slaves he liv'd resign'd,
95 His face array'd in smiles, denying
96 The true complexion of his mind;
97 For seriously around surveying
98 Each character in youth and age,
99 Of fools betray'd and knaves betraying,
100 That play'd upon this human stage,
101 (Peaceful himself and undesigning)
102 He loath'd the scenes of guile and strife,
103 And felt each secret wish inclining
104 To leave this fretful farce of life.
105 Yet to whate'er above was fated,
106 Obediently he bow'd his soul;
107 For, what all-bounteous Heaven created,
108 He thought Heaven only should controul.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): A FATHER's ADVICE TO HIS SON.
Author: John Gilbert Cooper
Themes: advice; moral precepts; parents; children
References: DMI 31057
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.