« PreviousContinue »
No friendship will abide the test
Or mean self-love erected;
For vicious ends connected. Who seeks a friend should come disposed To exhibit, in full bloom disclosed,
The graces and the beauties That form the character he seeks; For 'tis a union that bespeaks
Reciprocation is implied,
And constantly supported ;
Your own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice ?
And must be made the basis ;
All shining in their places.
With ceaseless sharp corrosion;
At one immense explosion.
The secret just committed,
And by themselves outwitted.
How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
If envy chance to creep in;
But not a friend worth keeping.
As envy pines at good possessed,
On good that seems approaching, And, if success his steps attend, Discerns a rival in a friend,
And hates him for encroaching.
Are sadly prone to quarrel,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renowned for repartee
With friendship's finest feeling ;
By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
The trumpet of contention ;
And rush into dissension.
A friendship that in frequent fits
The sparks of disputation,
The thought of conflagration. Some fickle creatures boast a soul True as a needle to the pole,
Their humour yet so various They manifest their whole life through The needle's deviations too,
Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
Plebeians must surrender,
Obscurity with splendour.
As Irish bogs are always green
Where heart soe'er is aching;
Unmoved and without quaking.
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Without an effervescence,
A friendly coalescence.
But friends that chance to differ On points that God has left at large, How fiercely will they meet and charge !
No combatants are stiffer.
To prove, alas! my main intent
No cutting and contriving-
With still less hope of thriving.
By trespass or omission : Sometimes occasion brings to light Our friend's defect, long hid from sight,
And even from suspicion. Then judge yourself, and prove your man As circumspectly as you can,
And, having made election, Beware no negligence of yours, Such as a friend but ill endures,
Enfeeble his affection.
That secrets are a sacred trust,
That sympathy befits them,
And all the world admits them.
But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
To finish a fine building-
The carving and the gilding.
First fixes our attention;
Must save it from declension.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack, And proves by thumps upon your back
How well he knows your merit, Is such a friend that one had need Be very much his friend indeed,
To pardon or to bear it.
Some act upon this prudent plan,
Safe policy, but hateful.
Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
And deaf to all his pleading ;
A spy on my proceeding.
Of evils yet unmentioned-
Pursue the search, and you will find
To be at least expedient,
A principal ingredient.
There is a sober serious grace,
That proves it heaven-descended.
To last till life is ended.
THE PIPE AND THE SNUFF Box
SENT TO THE REV, MR. NEWTON, RECTOR OF ST. MARY WOOLNOTH
Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, “ I can't understand
What the ladies and gentlemen see in your face, That you are in fashion all over the land,
And I am so much fallen into disgrace.
“ Do but see what a pretty contemplative air
I give to the company,-pray do but note 'em, You would think that the wise men of Greece were all there,
Or, at least, would suppose them the wise men of Gotham.
“My breath is as sweet as the breath of blown roses,
While you are a nuisance where'er you appear; There is nothing but snivelling and blowing of noses,
Such a noise as turns any man's stomach to hear.”
Then, lifting his lid in a delicate way,
And opening his mouth with a smile quite engaging, The Box in reply was heard plainly to say,
“What a silly dispute is this we are waging !
“ If you have a little of merit to claim,
You may thank the sweet-smelling Virginian weed; And I, if I seem to deserve any blame,
The before-mentioned drug in apology plead.
“ Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own,
No room for a sneer, much less a cachinnus; We are vehicles, not of tobacco alone,
But of any thing else they may choose to put in us.”