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versary of which he thus records in a sonnet of
Bereft of sight, their seeing have forgot;
Of man, or woman,--yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope ; but still bear
and steer Right onward! What supports me, dost thou
ask? The conscience, friend, to have lost them, over
plied In liberty's defence--my noble task, Of which all Europe rings from side to side ; This thought might lead me through the vain
world's masque, Content, though blind, had I no better guide.
But it is in the family circle that sacrifices of self have chiefly to be made, and here we have
The best portion of a good man's life,
Which meet their best reward in sympathy. That is a tender little family song by Barry Cornwall,
A PETITION TO TIME.
Let us glide down thy stream
Through a quiet dream!
Humble voyagers are we,
We've not proud nor soaring wings;
Lies in simple things.
Touch us gently, gentle Time!
eddies, And gathering storms, and dark’ning clouds
unheeding, Its quiet course thro' waves and winds it
steadies; My love is with me—and my babes-whose kisses Sweep sorrow's trace from off
brow as fast As gathering there—and hung upon the mast Are harp and myrtle flowers, that shed their
blisses On the sweet air. Is darkness on my path? Then beams bright radiance from a star that hath Its temple in the heavens. As firm as youth
I urge my onward way—there is no fear
For honest spirits; even the fates revere And recompense love, minstrelsy, and truth. Even troubles fall on the happy domestic circle with a divided force, that under the disposal of a
good Providence immensely lightens them to the individual.
Our hands in one, we will not shrink
From life's severest due;
The terrible and true ;-
Falls on us both as autumn snow. Precious, too, are those solid friendships which are now formed to withstand the shocks of time and trial, and which are no mean substitutes for married life when from various causes that is unattainable. Such is the friendship so finely described by Dr. Johnson :
Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven,
The noble mind's delight and guide ;
To all the lower world denied.
Parent of thousand wild desires,
Torments alike with raging fires.
Alike o'er all his lightnings fly;
Around the favourites of the sky.
On fools and villains ne'er descend;
And hugs a flatterer for a friend,
O guide us through life's darksome way!
On selfish bosoms only prey.
Nor shall thine ardour cease to glow
When souls to blissful climes remove;
Shall aid our happiness above. In Greece, especially in Illyria and Epirus, it has been no uncommon thing for persons of the same sex to bind themselves to eternal friendship by a religious ceremonial. The Greek Church contains a ritual to consecrate this vow. The knightly friendships of the Middle Ages were very remarkable, and presented the most affecting examples of personal devotedness. It is in the power of us all to cultivate true friendship, and so greatly add to the happiness of our lives.
There is a power to make each hour
As sweet as heaven design'd it;
Though few there be that find it !
And lose what nature found us;
As home and friends around us. Several birthday poems of friendship have been quoted under Early Life; the following are entertaining effusions, complimenting ladies of middle age, the intimate friends of the eminent writers :IMPROMPTU ON MRS. RIDDLE'S BIRTHDAY,
NCV. 4, 1793.
My dismal months no joys are crowning,
Burns. Impromptu to Mrs. Thrale on her 35th birthday :
Oft in danger, yet alive,
Must look on Thrale at thirty-five.