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VERSES SELECTED FROM AN OCCASIONAL
POEM ENTITLED “VALEDICTION.”
On Friendship! cordial of the human breast !
So little felt, so fervently profess'd!
Thy blossoms deck our unsuspecting years ;
The promise of delicinus fruit appears.:
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.
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 groan, 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.
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed ;
But now the savage temper was reclaim'd,
Persuasion on his lips had taken place ;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.
His iron heart with scripture he assail'd,
Woo'd him to hear a sermon, and prevail'd.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew,
Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he ; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wonder'd he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace
alone could heal.
Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies !
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
That holy day was wash'd with many a teár,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear.
The next, his swarthy brethren of the mine
Learn'd, by his alter'd speech, the change divine !
Laugh'd when they should have wept, and swore
the day Was nigh when he would swear as fast as they. “ No,” said the penitent, “such words shall share This breath no more ; devoted now to prayer. 0! if thou seest (thine eye the future sees) That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these; Now strike me to the ground on which I kneel, Ere yet this heart relapses into steel; Now take me to that heaven I once defied, Thy presence, thy embrace !"-He spoke, and died !
TO THE REV. MR. NEWTON, ON HIS RETURN
That ocean you have late survey'd,
Those rocks I too have seen,
But I, afflicted and dismay'd,
You, tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep
Saw stretch'd before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,
No longer such to you.
To me the waves, that ceaseless broke
Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke
Of all my treasure lost. Your sea of troubles
have past, And found the peaceful shore ; I, tempest-toss'd, and wreck'd at last,
Come home to port no more. Oct. 1780.
What is there in the vale of life
Half so delightful as a wife,
When friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage-bond divine ?
The stream of pure and genuine love
Derives its current from above ;
DJz 1335-benteer Send ud friend
Pinteren ETEJ CILAR eod;
here, in a pain ad bome way,
To co the currence of the day;
(a beath, the weather, and the DeWs;
Vi hat walks we take, what books we choose;
And all the floating thoughts we find
Upon the surface of the mind.