« PreviousContinue »
Whom fow’rs alone I knew would little please,
Let fall th' unfinish'd wreath, and rov'd for fruit;
Rov'd far, and gather'd much : fome harsh, 'tis true,
Pick'd from the thorns and briars of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digested; grateful fome
To palates that ean taste immortal truth,
Infipid elfe, and sure to be despis’d.
But all is in his hand whose praise I seek.
In vain the poet sings, and the world hears,
If he regard not, though divine the theme,
'Tis not in artful measures, in the chime
And idle tinkling of a minstrel's lyre,
To charm his ear, whose eye is on the heart;
Whose frown can disappoint the proudest (train,
Whose approbation-profper even mine.
Dear JOSEPH- five and twenty years ago
Alas! how time escapes -- 'tis even fo-
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheaç
A tedious hour and now we never meet.
As some gravé gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack; we know not what to-morrow brings
Strange fluctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart :
And, were I call’d to prove th' assertion true;
One proof should serve - a reference to you.
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, Though nothing have occurr’d to kindle strife, We find the friends we fancied we had won, Though num'rous once, reduc'd to few or none ? Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch? No: Gold they seem’d, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, Swinging the parlour-door upon its hinge, Dreading a negative, and overaw'd Left he should trespass, begg’d to go abroad. Go, fellow! - whither? -turning short about Nay. Stay at home; - you're always going out, 'Tis but a step, fir, just at the street's endFor what? -- An please you, sir, to fee'a friend. A friend! Horatio cried, and seein'd to startYea
marry shalt thou, and with all my heart
And fetch my cloak, for though the night be raw
I'll see him too the first I ever faw. '
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild,
And was his play-thing often when a child ;
But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close,
Else he was seldom bitter or morose :
Perhaps, his confidence just then betray'd,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he made;
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth.
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.
But not to moralize too much, and strain To
prove an evil of which all complain, (I hate long arguments, verbosely spun) One story more, dear Hill, and I have done: Once on a time, an Emp'ror, a wise man, No matter where, in China or Japan,