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Difmifs me, weary, to a safe retreat
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It fhall not grieve me, then, that once, when call'd To drefs a Sofa with the flow'rs of verse,
I play'd awhile, obedient to the fair,
With that light Task: but foon, to please her more,
Whom flow'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 harfh, 'tis true,
Pick'd from the thorns and briers of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digefted; grateful fome
To palates that can taste immortal truth;
Infipid elfe, and fure to be defpis'd.
But all is in His hand whofe praise I seek.
In vain the poet fings, and the world heams,
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, whofe eye is on the heart;
Whose frown can disappoint the proudest strain,
Whofe approbation-profper even mine.
DEAR JOSEPH-five and twenty years aga Alas, how time escapes !—'tis even soWith frequent intercourse, and always sweet, And always friendly, we were wont to cheat A tedious hour-and now we never meet! As fome grave gentleman in Terence fays, ('Twas thereføre much the fame in ancient days) Good lack, we know not what to-morrow bringsStrange fluctuation of all human things! True. Changes will befall, and friends may part, But diftance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I call'd to prove th' affertion 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 ftrife, 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 feem'd, but they were never such.
Horatio's fervant 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 fhort 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 feè a friend.
A friend! Horatio cried, and feem'd to start-
Yea marry fhalt thou, and with all my heart.
And fetch my cloak; for though the night be raw,
I'll fee him too the first I ever faw.
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything often when a child;
But fomewhat at that moment pinch'd him close,
Elfe he was feldom 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, verbofely fpun)
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done,
Once on a time, an emp'ror, a wife man→→→→
No matter where, in China or Japan-
Decreed, that whofoever fhould offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once, fhould ever after wear
But half a coat, and how his bofom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out.
Oh, happy Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measure here;
Elfe, could a law like that which I relate
Once have the fanction of our triple state,