Tales of instruction: in verse and prose/The Father and Jupiter

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The FATHER & JUPITER, a Fable.

Know then this Truth, (enough for Man to know)
VIRTUE alone is happineſs below.

THE man to Jove his ſuit preferr'd;
He begg'd a wife; his prayer was heard,
Jove wonder'd at his bold addreſſing,
For how precarious is the bleſſing!
A wife he takes.And now for heirs
Again he worries heaven with prayers.
Jove nods aſſent.Two hopeful boys
And a fine girl reward his joys.
Now more ſolicitous he grew,
And ſet their future lives in view;
He ſaw that all reſpect and duty
Were paid to wealth, to pow'r and beauty.

Once more, he cries, accept my prayer.
Make my lov'd progeny thy care:
Let my firſt hope, my fav’rite boy,
All fortune's richeſt gift's enjoy.
My next with ſtrong ambition fire,
May favour teach him to aſpire,
'Till he the ſtep of power aſcend,
And courtiers to their idol bend.
With ev'ry grace, with every charm,
My daughter's perfect features arm.
If Heav'n approve, a father's bleft,
Jove ſmiles, and grants his full requeſt.

The firſt, a miſer at the heart,
Studious of ev'ry griping art,
Heaps hoards on hoards with anxious pain,
And all his life devotes to gain.
He feels no joy, his cares increaſe,
He neither wakes nor fleeps in peace,
In fancy'd want, (a wretch complete)
He ſtarves, and yet he dares not eat.

The next to ſudden honours grew,
The thriving art of courts he knew;
He reach'd the height of power and place,
Then fell the victim of diſgrace.

Beauty with early bloom ſupplies
His daughter's cheek, and points her eyes;
The vain coquette each ſuit diſdains,
And glories in her lover's pains.
With age ſhe fades, each lover flies,
Contemn’d, forlorn, ſhe pines and dies,

When Jove the father's grief ſurvey'd,
And heard him heaven and fate upbraid,
Thus ſpoke the God.By outward ſhow
Men judge of happineſs and woe;
Shall ignorance of good and ill
Dare to direct th' eternal will?
Seek virtue; and of that poſſeſt,
To providence reſign the reſt.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.