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JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.
Dear Joseph—five and twenty years ago—
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, Though nothing have occur"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 1 No; gold they seem'd, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, Swinging the parlour-door upon it's hiuge, Dreading a negative, and overawe Lest 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, sir, just at the street's end.— For what?—An please you, sir, to see a friend.— A friend! Horatio cried, and seem'd to start— Yea 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 saw.
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything 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
But not to moralize too much, and strain,
O happy Britain! we have not to fear