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AN EPISTLE

TO

A PROTESTANT LADY IN FRANCE.

MADAM,

A Stranger's purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate, and not io praise.
To give the creature her Creator's due
Were fin in me, and an offerice to you.
From man to man, or ev'n to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use designed,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.

The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown; No traveller ever reached that bleft abode, Who found not thorns and briars in his road. The world may dance along the flowery plain, Cheered as they go by many a sprightly strains,

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Where Nature has her moffy velvet spread,
With unshod feet they yet securely tread,
Admonished, scorn the caution and the friend,
Bent upon pleasure, heedless of its end.
But he, who knew what human hearts would prove,
How slow to learn the dictates of his love,
That hard by nature and of stubborn will,
A life of ease would make them harder ftill,
In pity to the finners he designed
To rescue from the ruins of mankind,
Called for a cloud to darken all their years,
And said, “ go spend them in the vale of tears."
Oh balmy gales of foul-reviving air,
Oh salutary streams that murmur there,
These Auwing from the fount of grace above,
Those breathed from of everlasting love!
The flinty soil indeed their feet annoys,
And sudden sorrow nips their springing joys,
An envious world will interpofe its frown
To mar delights fuperior to its own,
And niany a pang, experienced still within,
Reminds them of their hated inmate, fin;
But ills of every shape and every name
Transformed to blessings miss their cruel aim,
And every moment's calm, that fooths the breast,
Is given in earnest of eternal reft.

Ah, be not fad, although thy lot be caft Far from the flock, and in a diftant wafte! No shepherd's tents within thy view appear, But the chief Shepherd is for ever near ; Thy tender forrrows and thy plaintive strain Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain; Thy tears all issue from a source divine, And every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine'Twas thus in Gideon's fleece the dews were found, And drought on all the drooping herbs around.

FRIENDSHIP.

What virtue or what mental grace
But men unqualified and base

Will boast it their poffeffion?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,

And dullness of discretion.

If every polished gem we find,
Illuminating heart or mind,

Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the fame,
That jewel of the purest flame,

Or rather constellation.

No knave but boldly will pretend
The requisites that form a friend,

A real and a sound one,
Nor any fool he would deceive,
But prove as ready to believe,

And dream that he had found one.

Candid and generous and juft,
Boys care but little whom they trust,

An error foon corrected
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smootheft he appears,

Is moft to be suspected ?

But here again a danger lies,
Left, having misapplied our eyes

And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,

A mere Utopian pleasure.

An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair ;

Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,

We fought without attaining.

No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid intereft,

Or mean self-love erected;
Nor such as may awhile fubfift
Between the sot and fenfualift,

For vicious ends connected.

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