The Father and Jupiter

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The man to Jove his suit preferred;
He begged a wife. His prayer was heard,
Jove wondered 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 power, and beauty.
'Once more,' he cries, 'accept my prayer;
Make my loved progeny thy care.
Let my first hope, my favourite boy,
All fortune's richest gifts 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 every grace, with every charm,
My daughter's perfect features arm.
If heaven approve, a father's bless'd.'
Jove smiles, and grants his full request.
   The first, a miser at the heart,
Studious of every 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 sleeps in peace;

In fancied 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 reached 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;
Contemned, forlorn, she pines and dies.
   When Jove the father's grief surveyed,
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 the eternal will?
Seek virtue; and, of that possess'd,
To Providence resign the rest'

The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends

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