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'Tis not in artful measures, in the chime
And idle tinkling of a minstrel's lyre,
To charm his ear, whose eye is on the heart;
Whose frown can disappoint the proudeft strain,
Whose approbation-profper even mine.
Dear Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas, how time escapes !—'tis even fo-
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same iv ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings
Strange fluctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I call'd to prove th' affertion true,
One proof should serve-a reference to you.
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, Though nothing have occurr'd to kindle strife, We find the friends we fancied we had won, Though num'rous once, reduc'd to few or none ? Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch? No-gold they seem'd, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe,
Swinging the parlour-door upon its hinge,
Dreading a negative, and overaw'd
Left he should trespass, begg’d to go abroad.
Go, fellow !-whither?-turning short about
Nay-stay at home-you're always going out.
'Tis but a step, fir, just at the street's end.-
For what?- An please you, fir, to see a friend.
A friend ! Horatio cry'd, and seeni’d to start-
Yea marry shalt thou, and with all my heart.-
And fetch my cloak: for, though the night be raw,
I'll see him toothe first I ever saw.
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild,
And was his plaything often when a child;
But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close,
Else he was seldom bitter or morose.
Perhaps, his confidence just then betray'd,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth.
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.
But, not to moralize too much, and strain To prove an evil of which all complain, (I hate long arguments, verbosely spun) One story more, dear Hill, and I have done. Once on a time an emp’ror, a wise manNo matter where, in China or JapanDecreed that whosoever should offend Against the well-known duties of a friend, Convicted once, should ever after wear But half a coat, and show his bosom bare. The punishment importing this, no doubt, That all was naught within, and all found out.
Oh, happy Britain, we have not to fear Such hard and arbitrary measure here;