« ElőzőTovább »
The fancy, and unhallow'd passion fires;
Know'st thou, LORENZO! what a friend contains?
In Contemplation is his proud resource? 'Tis poor, as proud, by converse unsustain'd.
Rude thought runs wild in Contemplation's field; 490
495 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? 500 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,
505 Denies, or damps, an undivided joy. Joy is an import; joy is an exchange; Joy flies monopolists: It calls for two; Rich fruit! Heav'n planted! never pluck'd by one. Needful auxiliars are our friends, to give
510 To social Man true relish of himself. Full on ourselves descending in a line, Pleasure's bright beam is feeble in delight: Delight intense, is taken by rebound; Reverberated pleasures fire the breast.
515 Celestial Happiness, whene'er she stoops To visit earth, one shrine the goddess finds, And one alone, to make her sweet amends For absent Heav'n—the bosom of a friend; Where heart meets heart, reciprocally soft, 520 Each other's pillow to repose divine.
Beware the counterfeit: In Passion's flame
530 This carries Friendship to her noon-tide point, And gives the rivet of eternity.
From Friendship, which outlives my former themes, Glorious survivor of old Time, and Death! From Friendship, thus, that flow'r of heav'nly seed, 535 The wise extract Earth's most Hyblean bliss, Superior wisdom, crown'd with smiling joy.
But for whom blossoms this Elysian flow'r? Abroad they find, who cherish it at home. LORENZO! pardon what my
540 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,
545 Or fascination of a high-born smile. Their smiles, the great, and the coquet, throw out For other hearts, tenacious of their own; And we no less of ours, when such the bait. Ye Fortune's cofferers! Ye pow'rs of wealth! 550 You do your rent-rolls most felonious wrong, By taking our attachment to yourselves. Can gold gain friendship? Impudence of hope!
As well mere Man an angel might beget.
What if (since daring on so nice a theme) 560
So sung he (angels hear that angel sing!
580 A brow solute, and ever-laughing eye. He drank long health, and virtue to his friend; His friend, who warm’d hiin more, who more inspir’d. 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,
Think’st thou the theme intoxicates my song? And I too warm?_Too warm I cannot be. I lov'd him much; but now I love him more. Like birds, whose beauties languish, half conceald, Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes 600 Expanded shine with azure, green, and gold; How blessings brighten as they take their flight! His flight PHILANDER took; his upward flight, If ever soul ascended. Had he dropt, (That eagle genius!) O had he let fall
605 One feather as he flew! I, then, had wrote, What friends might flatter; prudent foes forbear; Rivals scarce damn; and Zoilus reprieve. Yet what I can, I must: It were profane To quench a glory lighted at the skies,
610 And cast in shadows his illustrious close. Strange! the theme most affecting, most sublime, Momentous most to man, should sleep unsung! And yet it sleeps, by genius unawak’d, Painim or Christian; to the blush of wit.
615 Man's highest triumph! Man's profoundest fall! The death-bed of the just! is yet undrawn