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For well I know, that such had been
A blessing never meant for me;
March 14th, 1812.
[This poem and the following were written some years ago.]
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.
FEw years have pass'd since thou and I
like me, too well thou know'st
What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have loved the most
And such the change the heart displays,
VOL, VI, S
If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart; The fault was Nature's fault, not thine, Which made thee fickle as thou art
As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
It boots not, that together bred,
And when we bid adieu to youth,
Ah, joyous season! when the mind
Not so in Man's maturer years,
When interest sways our hopes and fears,
With fools in kindred vice the same,
We learn at length our faults to blend, And those, and those alone may claim
The prostituted name of friend.
Such is the common lot of man:
No, for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been; Man and the world I so much hate, I care not when I quit the scene.
But thou, with spirit frail and light,
Alas! whenever Folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet, (For cherish'd first in royal halls, The welcome vices kindly greet.)
Ev'n now thou'rt nightly seen to add
To join the vain, and court the proud.
There dost thou glide from fair to fair,
That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.
But say, what nymph will prize the flame
To flit along from dame to dame,
What friend for thee, howe'er inclined,
For friendship every fool may share?
In time forbear; amidst the throng
Be something, any thing, but-mean.
WELL! thou art happy, and I feel
Thy husband's blest—and 'twill impart
But let them pass-Oh! how my heart
When late I saw thy favourite child,
I thought my jealous heart would break; But when th' unconscious infant smiled, I kiss'd it, for its mother's sake.
I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs
Mary, adieu! I must away;
While thou art blest I'll not repine; But near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride
My heart in all, save hope, the same.
Yet was I calm: I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look; But now to tremble were a crimeWe met, and not a nerve was shook.
I saw thee gaze upon my face,
Yet meet with no confusion there;