William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

Epigram : The Cottager And His Landlord. A Fable (Translated From Milton)

A Peasant to his lord yearly court,
Presenting pippins of so rich a sort
That he, displeased to have a part alone,
Removed the tree, that all might be his own.
The tree, too old to travel, though before
So fruitful, withered, and would yield no more.
The squire, perceiving all his labour void,
Cursed his own pains, so foolishly employed,
And 'Oh,' he cried, 'that I had lived content
With tribute, small indeed, but kindly meant!
My avarice has expensive proved to me,
Has cost me both my pippins and my tree.'
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