Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the Hibernian dialect of the one, or the more fashionable cant of the other. Nothing came amiss to him.

Although the eldest of three sons, his inattention to money matters had incensed his father to such a degree that all intercession of friends was fruitless. The old gentleman was on his death-bed. The whole family (and Dick among the number) gathered around him. “I leave my second son Andrew," said the expiring miser,“ my whole estate; and desire him to be frugal.” “Ah! father,” said Andrew, in a sorrowful tone (as is usual on these occasions), “ may heaven prolong your life and health to enjoy it yourself.”

“I recommend Simon, my third son, to the care of his elder brother; and leave him, besides, four thousand pounds." “ Ah ! father,” cried Simon (in great affliction, to be sure), “may heaven give you life and health to enjoy it yourself !”

At last, turning to poor Dick, “ As for you, you have always been a sad dog; you'll never come to good; you'll never be rich; I leave you a shilling to buy a halter.” “Ah! father,” cries Dick, without any emotion, “ may heaven give you life and health to enjoy it yourself !

THE GOURD AND THE PALM.

A PERSIAN FABLE.

“How old art thou ?” said the garrulous gourd,
As o'er the palm-tree's crest it poured
Its spreading leaves and tendrils fine,

And hung a bloom in the morning shine.
“A hundred years !” the palm-tree sighed :
“ And I,the saucy gourd replied,
“ Am at the most a hundred hours,
And overtop thee in the bowers !”
Through all the palm-tree's leaves there went
A tremor as of self-content.
“I live my life,” it whispering said,
“See what I see, and count the dead ;
And every year, of all I've known,
A gourd above my head has grown,
And made a boast, like thine to-day;
Yet here I stand — but where are they?

THE EAR OF CORN.

TRANSLATED BY THE EDITORS. FROM THE GERMAN.

A FARMER went with his little son into the field one day to see if the corn were ripe. “See, father,” said the boy, “how high these ears hold their heads, they are surely ripe, but those that bow down almost to the ground must be bad.”

The father picked two ears and said : “Foolish child, look here. These ears that hold up their heads so proudly are dry and withered, these that bow down are the finest corn."

When the head is held too high
The brains inside are poor and dry.

THE SPIDER AND THE FLY.

Mary Howitt.

“ WILL you walk into my parlor ?”

Said a spider to a fly; “ 'Tis the prettiest little parlor

That ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor

Is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things

To show when you are there.” “Oh no, no!” said the little fly,

“ To ask me is in vain ; For who goes up your winding stair

Can ne'er come down again.” “ I'm sure you must be weary

With soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed ?”

Said the spider to the fly. “ There are pretty curtains drawn around,

The sheets are fine and thin; And if you like to rest awhile,

I'll snugly tuck you in.” “Oh no, no!” said the little fly,

“For I've often heard it said, They never, never wake again

Who sleep upon your bed.”
Said the cunning spider to the fly,

“Dear friend, what shall I do

To prove the warm affection

I've always felt for you? I have, within my pantry,

Good store of all that's nice; I'm sure you're very welcome —

Will you please to take a slice ?" “Oh no, no!” said the little fly,

“Kind sir, that cannot be; I've heard what's in your pantry,

And I do not wish to see.”

“Sweet creature,” said the spider,

“ You're witty and you're wise ; How handsome are your gauzy wings!

How brilliant are your eyes !
I have a little looking-glass

Upon my parlor shelf;
If you'll step in one moment, dear,

You shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said,

“For what you're pleased to say, And bidding you good-morning, now,

I'll call another day.”

The spider turned him round about,

And went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly

Would soon be back again;
So he wove a subtle thread

In a little corner sly,

[ocr errors]

And set his table ready

To dine upon the fly.
He went out to his door again,

And merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty fly,

With the pearl and silver wing; Your robes are green and purple,

There's a crest upon your head ; Your eyes are like the diamond bright,

But mine are dull as lead.”

Alas, alas! how very soon

This silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words,

Came slowly flitting by :
With buzzing wings she hung aloft,

Then near and nearer drew
Thought only of her brilliant eyes,

And green and purple hue; Thought only of her crested head,

Poor foolish thing! At last Up jumped the cunning spider,

And fiercely held her fast.

He dragged her up his winding stair,

Into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor — but

She ne'er came out again.
And now, dear little children

Who may this story read,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »