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Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
Whoever keeps an open ear
The trumpet of contention;
And rush into dissension.
A friendship that in frequent fits
The sparks of disputation,
The thought of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
Their humour yet so various— They manifest their whole life through The needle's deviations too,
Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
Plebeians must surrender,
Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene
They sleep secure from waking;
Unmoved and without quaking.
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Without an effervescence,
A friendly coalescence.
Eeligion should extinguish strife,
But friends that chance to differ
No combatants are stiffer.
To prove at last my main intent
No cutting and contriving—
With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own, Some blemish in due time made known By trespass or omission;
Sometimes occasion brings to light
Then judge yourself, and prove your man
And, having made election, Beware no negligence of yours, Such as a friend but ill endures,
Enfeeble his affection.
That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,
That constancy befits them,
And all the world admits them.
But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
To finish a fine building—
The carving and the gilding.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
How he esteems your merit,
To pardon or to bear it.
As similarity of mind,
Or something not to be defined,
First fixes our attention;
Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this prudent plan,
Safe policy, but hateful—
Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
No subterfuge or pleading
A spy on my proceeding.
These samples—for alas ! at last
Of evils yet unmention'd—
However well intention'd.
Pursue the search, and you will find Good sense and knowledge of mankind To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
The noblest Friendship ever shown
Though some have turn'd and turn'd it;
Have not, it seems, discern'd it.
O Friendship! if my soul forego
To mortify and grieve me,
Or may my friend deceive me!
ON A MISCHIEVOUS BULL,
WHICH THE OWNER OP HIM SOLD AT THE AUTHOR'S INSTANCE.
Go—thou art all unfit to share
The pleasures of this place With such as its old tenants are,
Creatures of gentler race.