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Because that world adopts it. If it bear
The stamp and clear impression of good sense,
And be not costly more than of true worth,
He puts it on, and, for decorum sake,
Can wear it e’en as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye,
He by the test of conscience, and a heart
Not soon deceiv’d; aware that what is base
No polish can make sterling; and that vice,
Though well perfum’d and elegantly dress’d,
Like an unburied carcase trick'd with flow'rs,
Is but a garnish'd nuisance, fitter far
For cleanly riddance than for fair attire.
So life glides smoothly and by stealth away,
More golden than that age of fabled gold
Renown'd in ancient song; not vex'd with care
Or stain’d with guilt, beneficent, approv'd
Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.
So glide my life away! and so at last,
My share of duties decently fulfill’d,
May some disease, not tardy to perform
Its destin’d office, yet with gentle stroke,
Dismiss me, weary, to a safe retreat
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me, then, at once, when call'd
To dress a Sofa with the flow’rs of verse,
I play'd awhile, obedient to the fair,
With that light task; but soon, to please her more,
Whom flow’rs alone I knew would little please,
Let fall th’unfinish'd wreath, and roy'd for fruit;
Rov'd far, and gather'd much: some harsh,'tis true,
Pick'd from the thorns and briers of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digested; grateful some
To palates that can taste immortal truth;
Insipid else, and sure to be despis’d.
But all is in his hand whose praise I seek..
In vain the poet sings, and the world hears,
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, whose eye is on the heart; Whose frown can disappoint the proudest strain, Whose approbation-prosper even mine.
Dear Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas, how time escapes!—’tis even so-
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour—and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings-
Strange fluctuation of all human things!
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I call’d to prove th' assertion 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 strife, 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 seem’d, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, Swinging the parlour-door upon its hinge, Dreading a negative, and overaw'd Lest he should trespass, begg’d to go abroad. Go, fellow!-whither?-turning short 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 see a friend. A friend! Horatio cry'd, and seem'd to start Yea, marry shalt thou, and with all my heart.And fetch my cloak: for, though the night be saw, I'll see him too—the first I ever saw.