Page images


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 smoothest 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 sensualift,

For vicious ends connected.

Who seek a friend, should come difpofed
To exhibit in full bloom disclosed

The graces and the beauties,
That form the character he seeks,
For ’tis an union, that bespeaks

Reciprocated duties.


Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,

And constantly supported;'
'Tis senseless arrogance to accufe
Another of finifter views,

Our own as much distorted.

But will sincerity suffice?
It is indeed above all price,

And must be made the basis;
But every virtue of the foul
Must constitute the charming whole,

All shining in their places.

A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot, that may be tied,

By ceaseless sharp corrosion;
A temper passionate and fierce
May suddenly your joys disperse

At one immense explosion.

In vain the talkative unite
In hopes of permanent delight-

The secret juft committed
Forgetting its important weight,
They drop through mere desire to prate,

And by themselves outwitted.

How bright foe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams

If envy chance to creep in;
An envious man,

if you succeed, May prove a dangeous foe indeed,

But not a friend worth keeping.

As envy pines at good poffesfed,
So jealousy looks forth distressed

On good, that seems approaching,
And if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching.

Hence authors of illuftrious name,
Unless belied by common fame,

Are fadly prone to quarrel,
To deem the wit a friend displays
A. tax upon their wn just praise,

And pluck each others laurel.

A man renowned for repartee
Will feldom scruple to make free

With friendship's finest feeling,
Will thruft a dagger at your breaft,
And say he wounded you in jest,

By way of balm for healing.

.Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers, will be sure to hear

The trumpet of contention;
Afpersion is the babbler's trade,
To listen is to lend him aid,

And rush into diffention.

A friendship, that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits

The sparks of disputation,
Like hand in hand insurance plates,
. Most unavoidably creates

The thought of conflagration.

[ocr errors]

Some fickle creatures boaft a soul
True as a needle to the pole,

Their humour yet to various
They manifeft their whole life through
The needle's deviations too,

Their love is so precarious.

« PreviousContinue »