The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/The Miser and His Son

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By what strange chance I do not know,
But on a time it happened so—
A miser to the market went,
And a small sum for apples spent.

Plac'd in a closet in a row,
They make a most delightful show,
He counts and counts them o'er and o'er,
Then double-locks and bolts the door,
Yet oft returns to view his store.

But sad indeed this miser's lot,
For even miser's apples rot;
He sighing eats the ones that perish,
But still persists the sound to cherish.

His son, a school-boy, on half fare,
Discover'd where the apples were;
He got the keys, and with two friends,
For his short fare soon made amends.

The miser came and stood dismayed
To see the havoc they had made,
He loud exclaim'd as if undone,
"Give back my apples every one,
Or I'll hang ev'ry mother's son!"

"Be quiet, father," said the boy,
"We are all decent fellows here;
So be appeas'd and do not fear;
We would not in the least annoy:
We leave the bad ones for your sake,
'Tis only sound ones that we take."