Page images
PDF
EPUB

(O how omnipotent is Time!) decrees;

Should not each warning give a strong aların?
Warning, far less than that of bosom torr
From bosom, bleeding o'er the sacred dead!
Should not each dial strike us as we pass,
Portentous, as the written wall which struck,
O'er midnight bowls, the proud Assyrian pale,
Erowhile high flush'd with insolence and wine?
Like that, the dial speaks, and points to thee,
Lorenzo! loath to break thy banquet up :-
'O Man! thy kingdom is departing from thee,
And, while it lasts, is emptier than my shade.'
Its silent language such; nor need'st thou call
Thy Magi to decipher what it means.
Know, like the Median, Fate is in thy walls :
Dost ask how? whence? Belshazzar-like, amazed.
Man's make encloses the sure seeds of death;
Life feeds the murderer: ingrate! he thrives
On her own meal, and then his nurse devours.

Yet soon man's hour is up, and we are gone.
Warnings point out our danger; gnonions, time:
As these are useless when the Sun is set,

But here, Lorenzo, the delusion lies;
That solar shadow, as it measures life,
It life resembles too. Life speeds away
From point to point, though seeming to stand still.
The cunning fugitive is swift by stealth:
Too subtle is the movement to be seen;

So those, but when more glorious Reason shincs.
Reason should judge in all; in Reason's eye
That sedentary shadow travels hard;
But such our gravitation to the wrong,
So prone our hearts to whisper what we wish,
'Tis later with the wise than he's aware.
A Wilmington goes slower than the Sun;
And all mankind mistake their time of day;
E'en Age itself. Fresh hopes are hourly sown
In furrow'd brows. So gentle life's descent,

105

410

415

420

425

430

435

We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain.
We take fair days in winter for the spring,
And turn our blessings into bane. Since oft
Man must compute that age he cannot feel,
He scarce believes he's older for his years.
Thus at life's latest eve we keep in store
One disappointment sure, to crown the rest,
The disappointment of a promised hour.

On this, or similar, Philander! thou
Whose mind was moral as the preacher's tongue,
And strong to wield all science worth the name,
How often we taik'd down the summer's sun,
And cool'd our passions by the breezy stream!
How often thaw'd and shorten'd winter's eve
By conflict kind, that struck out latent truth,
Best found so sought, to the recluse more coy!
Thoughts disentangle passing o'er the lip;
Clean runs the thread; if not, 'tis thrown away,
Or kept to tie up nonsense for a song;
Song, fashionably fruitless, such as stains
The fancy, and unhallow'd passion fires,
Chiming her saints to Cytherea's fane.

Know'st thou, Lorenzo! what a friend contains?
As bees mix'd nectar draw from fragrant flowers,
So men from Friendship, wisdom and delight;
Twins, tied by Nature; if they part, they die.
Hast thou no friend to set thy mind abroach? 465
Good sense will stagnate. Thoughts shut up want air,
And spoil, like bales unopen'd to the sun.
Had thought been all, sweet speech had been denied ;
Speech! thought's canal; speech! thought's criterion
469
Thought in the mine may come forth gold or dross;
When coin'd in word, we know its real worth:
If sterling, store it for thy future use;
"Twill buy thee benefit, perhaps renown.
Thought, too, deliver'd, is the more possess'd;
Teaching we learn; and giving we retain

too:

440

445

450

455

460

475

The births of intellect; when duinb, forgot.
Speech ventilates our intellectual fire;
Speech burnishes our mental magazine ;
Brightens for ornament, and whets for use
What numbers, sheath'd in erudition, lie
Plunged to the hilts in venerable tomes,
And rusted in, who might have borne an edge,
And play'd a sprightly beam, if born to speech,
If born bless'd heirs of half their mother's tongue! 484
'Tis thought's exhcange, which, like the' alternate push
Of waves conflicting, breaks the learned scum,
And defecates the student's standing pool.

In contemplation is his proud resource?
'Tis poor as proud, by converse unsustain'd.
Rude thought runs wild in Contemplation's field; 490
Converse, the menage, breaks it to the bit
Of due restraint; and Emulation's spur
Gives graceful energy, by rivals awed.
Tis converse qualifies for solitude,
As exercise for salutary rest:
By that untutor'd, Contemplation raves;
And Nature's fool by Wisdom's is outdone
Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines,
And sweeter than the sweet ambrosial hive,
What is she but the means of happiness?
That unobtain'd, than Folly more a fool;
A melancholy fool, without her bells.
Friendship, the means of wisdom, richly gives
The precious end, which makes our wisdom wise.
Nature, in zeal for human amity,

Denies or damps an undivided joy.

Joy is an import: joy is an exchange;

Joy flies monopolists; it calls for two.

510

Rich fruit! Heaven-planted! never pluck'd by one.
Needful auxiliars are our friends, to give
To social man true relish of himself.
Full on ourselves descending in a line,
Pleasure's bright beam is feeble in delight:

480

495

500

505

Delight intense is taken by rebound;
Reverberated pleasures fire the breast.
Celestial Happiness! whene'er she stoops
To visit Earth, one shrine the goddess finds,
And one alone, to make her sweet amends
For absent Heaven-the bosom of a friend;
Where heart meets heart, reciprocally soft,
Each other's pillow to repose divine.
Beware the counterfeit; in passion's flame
Hearts melt, but melt like ice, soon harder froze.
True love strikes root in reason, passion's foe:
Virtue alone entenders us for life;

I wrong her much--entenders us for ever.
Of Friendship's fairest fruits, the fruit most fair
Is Virtue kindling at a rival fire,

And emulously rapid in her race.

O the soft enmity! endearing strife!

This carries Friendship to her noontide point,
And gives the rivet of eternity.

515

520

525

530

From Friendship, which outlives my former themes, Glorious survivor of old Time and Death! From Friendship, thus, that flower of heavenly seed, The wise extract earth's most hyblean bliss, Superior wisdom, crown'd with smiling joy.

536

But for whom blossoms this Elysian flower? Abroad they find who cherish it at home. Lorenzo pardon what my love extorts, An honest love, and not afraid to frown. Though choice of follies fasten on the great, None clings more obstinate than fancy fond, That sacred friendship is their easy prey Caught by the wafture of a golden lure, Or fascination of a highborn smile. Their smiles the great, and the coquette, throw out For others' hearts, tenacious of their own; And we no less of ours, when such the bait. Ye Fortune's cofferers! ye powers of Wealth! Can gold gain friendship? impudence of hope

540

545

550

As well mere man an angel might beget.
Love, and love only, is the loan for love.

orenzo! pride repress, nor hope to find
A friend, but what has found a friend in thee:
All like the purchase, few the price will pay;
And this makes friends such miracles below.

555

What if (since daring on so nice a theme)
I show thee friendship delicate as dear,
Of tender violations apt to die?

Reserve will wound it, and distrust destroy.
Deliberate on all things with thy friend :
But since friends grow not thick on every bough
Nor every friend unrotten at the core,
First on thy friend deliberate with thyself;
Pause, ponder, sift; not eager in the choice,
Nor jealous of the chosen: fixing, fix;
Judge before friendship, then confide till death.
Well for thy friend, but nobler far for thee.
How gallant danger for earth's highest prize!
A friend is worth all hazards we can run.
'Poor is the friendless master of a world;
A world in purchase for a friend is gain.'

So sung he (angels hear that angel sing.
Angels from friendship gather half their joy)
So sung Philander, as his friend went round
In the rich ichor, in the generous blood
Of Bacchus, purple god of joyous wit,
A brow solute, and ever laughing eye.
He drank long health and virtue to his friend;
His friend! who warm'd him more, who more inspired.
Friendship's the wine of life; but friendship new
(Not such was his) is neither strong nor pure.
O! for the bright complexion, cordial warmth,
And elevating spirit of a friend,

580

For twenty summers ripening by my side;
All feculence of falsehood long thrown down,

All social virtues rising in his soul,

/

As crystal clear, and smiling as they rise!

560

565

570

575

585

« EelmineJätka »