There came a man in days of old, To hire a piece of land for gold, And urged his suit in accents meek- "One crop alone is all I seek; 'That harvest o'er, my claim I yield, And to its lord resign the field." The owner some misgivings felt, And coldly with the stranger dealt, But found his last objection fail, And honied eloquence prevail, So took the proffered price in hand, And for one crop leased out the land. The wily tenant sneered with pride, And sowed the spot with acorns wide; At first like tiny shoots they grew, Then broad and wide their branches threw, But long before the oaks sublime, Aspiring reached their forest rime, The cheated landlord moldering lay Forgotten with his kindred clay. O ye whose years unfolding fair Are fresh with youth, and free from care, Should vice and indolence desire The garden of your souls to hire, No parleys hold-reject the suit, Nor let one seed the soil pollute. My child their first approach beware, With firmness break the insidious snare, Lest as the acorns grew and throve Into a sun-encircled grove, Thy sins, a dark o'ershadowing tree Shut out the light of Heaven from thee.