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And having known thee bearded and full grown,
The weekly censor of a laughing town,
I thought the volume I presumed to send,
Graced with the name of a long-absent friend,
Might prove a welcome gift, and touch thine heart,
Not hard by nature, in a feeling part.
But thou it seems, (what cannot grandeur do,
Though but a dream ?) art grown disdainful too;
And strutting in thy school of queens and kings,
Who fret their hour and are forgotten things,
Hast caught the cold distemper of the day,
And, like his lordship, cast thy friend away.
Oh Friendship ! cordial of the human breast !
So little felt, so fervently profess'd!
Thy blossoms deck our unsuspecting years ;
The promise of delicious fruit
We hug the hopes of constancy and truth,
Such is the folly of our dreaming youth ;
But soon, alas ! detect the rash mistake,
That sanguine inexperience loves to make;
And view with tears the expected harvest lost,
Decay'd by time, or wither'd by a frost.
Whoever undertakes a friend's great part
Should be renew'd in nature, pure in heart,
Prepared for martyrdom, and strong to prove
A thousand ways the force of genuine love.
He may be call’d to give up health and gain,
To exchange content for trouble, ease for pain,
To echo sigh for sigh, and groan for
And wet his cheeks with sorrows not his own.
The heart of man, for such a task too frail,
When most relied on, is most sure to fail ;
And, summon'd to partake its fellow's woe,
Starts from its office, like a broken bow.
Votaries of business and of pleasure, prove
Faithless alike in friendship and in love.
Retired from all the circles of the gay,
And all the crowds that bustle life away,
To scenes where competition, envy, strife,
Beget no thunder-clouds to trouble life,
Let me, the charge of some good angel, find
One who has known and has escaped mankind;
Polite, yet virtuous, who has brought away
The manners, not the morals, of the day:
With him, perhaps with her, (for men have known
No firmer friendships than the fair have shown)
Let me enjoy, in some unthought-of spot,
(All former friends forgiven, and forgot,)
Down to the close of life's fast fading scene,
Union of hearts, without a flaw between.
'Tis grace, 'tis bounty, and it calls for praise,
If God give health, that sunshine of our days ;
And if he add, a blessing shared by few,
Content of heart, more praises still are due :-
But if he grant a friend, that boon possess’d
Indeed is treasure, and crowns all the rest;
And giving one, whose heart is in the skies,
Born from above, and made divinely wise,
He gives, what bankrupt nature never can,
Whose noblest coin is light and brittle man,
Gold, purer far than Ophir ever knew,
A soul, an image of himself, and therefore true.
ON THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO LONDON,
THE NIGHT OF THE 17TH MARCH, 1789.
When, long sequester'd from his throne,
George took his seat again,
By right of worth, not blood alone,
Entitled here to reign;
Then, Loyalty, with all his lamps
New trimm'd, a gallant show, Chasing the darkness and the damps,
Set London in a glow.
'Twas hard to tell of streets or squares,
Which form'd the chief display, These most resembling cluster'd stars,
Those the long milky way.
Bright shone the roofs, the domes, the spires,
And rockets flew, self-driven, To hang their momentary fires
Amid the vault of Heaven.
So, fire with water to compare,
The ocean serves on high
Up-spouted by a whale in air,
To express unwieldy joy.
Had all the pageants of the world
In one procession join'd,
And all the banners been unfurl'd
That heralds e'er design'd;
For no such sight had England's Queen
Forsaken her retreat, Where, George recover'd made a scene
Sweet always, doubly sweet.
Yet glad she came that night to prove,
A witness undescried,
How much the object of her love
Was loved by all beside.
Darkness the skies had mantled o'er
In aid of her designDarkness, O Queen! ne'er call'd before
To veil a deed of thine.
On borrow'd wheels away she flies,
Resolved to be unknown, And gratify no curious eyes
That night, except her own.
Arrived, a night like noon she sees,
And hears the million hum; As all by instinct, like the bees,
Had known their sovereign come.
Pleased she beheld aloft pourtray'd
On many a splendid wall,
Emblems of health, and heavenly aid,
And George the theme of all.
Unlike the enigmatic line,
So difficult to spell,
Which shook Belshazzar at his wine,
The night his city fell.
Soon, watery grew her eyes and dim,
But with a joyful tear,
None else, except in prayer for him,
George ever drew from her.
It was a scene in every part
Like those in fable feign’d,
And seem’d by some magician's art
Created and sustain'd.
But other magic there, she knew,
Had been exerted none,
To raise such wonders in her view,
Save love of George alone.
That cordial thought her spirits cheer'd,
And through the cumberous throng, Not else unworthy to be fear'd,
Convey'd her calm along.
So, ancient poets say, serene:
The sea-maid rides the waves, And fearless of the billowy scene
Her peaceful bosom laves. With more than astronomic eyes
She view'd the sparkling show; One Georgian star adorns the skies,
She myriads found below. Yet let the glories of a night
Like that, once seen, suffice; Heaven grant us no such future sight,
Such previous woe the price! S. C.-10.