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the accomplished and amiable author of “Literary Hours," “ The Gleaner," and other esteemed works, devoted to the illustration of tasteful and elegant literature. Their congeniality of sentiment, and similarity of pursuits, laid the basis of a warm and permanent friendship; which continued without interruption or remission, until it was closed by death. Each stimulating the other to an extended activity of research, and each frequently announcing to the other the success which attended his exertions, or each as frequently exhibiting to the other some new acquisition of knowledge, some fresh specimen of poetic composition, either original or translated; and all this in the may-day of life, when, with regard to both, the buds and blossoms of thought, and the varied foliage of imagination, were starting forth with a vigorous exuberance,-could not but be productive of the most beneficial effects. Mr. Good greatly enlarged his acquaintance with the writers of Greece and Rome, at the same time he took a more extensive view of the poetry and literature of France and Italy; and, as though these were not enough to engage all the powers of his mind, he commenced the study of Hebrew, a language of which he soon acquired a clear and critical knowledge.
Dr. Drake, who has done me the favour to communicate some interesting particulars relative to his early friend, as well as several of his letters and of his poetical compositions, enables me to lay before the reader the following spirited effusion, indicative of his state of thought and feeling at this period. The Doctor truly characterizes it as “an excellent imitation of the Horatian epistolary style and manner, affording at the same time a striking proof of the just estimate which, even
at that early season of life, Dr. Good had formed as to the proper pursuits and rational enjoyment of our being here.”
TO MY FRIEND DR. DRAKE.
Non accepimus brevem vitam, sed fecimus : nec inopes ejus sed prodigi sumus. Quid de rerum natura querimus ? vita, si scias uti, longa est.
But is this life the fates bestow,
Yes--'tis to him whose vagrant soul
Yes, 'tis to him, more stupid still,
Yes, to the wretch who heaps his pelf
And boasting, when all boast is vain,
Yes, to the man who hunts till death
But say, my friend, for bounteous heaven To thee the power to say has given, And much thy meditative youth Has trod th' inspiring shades of truth, Say, are the countless sons of earth Alike disgusted with their birth? Has God to all, with pow'r perverse, Instead of blessing, dealt a curse ? A gift that will not bear the touch, That solid seems, but ne'er is such ? An ignis fatuus that decoys Alone with semblances of joys ? Or, if substantial once they prove, That instant from the grasp remove; Fly from the wretch, and in their flight Behold him plung'd to endless night? Say, could th' eternal Sire bestow Such vanity of life below? Or is it man, with aim perverse, Who turns the blessing to a curse e ? The solid boon assign'd forsakes, And makes the void the shadow makes ?
man, O Drake, 'tis man alone, And Heaven the charge may well disown; 'Tis man himself who renders vain This day of grace the fates ordain; Who, thoughtless, to secure its flight, Dreams 'tis but noon at dead of night, And wakes abrupt, and starts to find A blank of being all behind, And all, where'er he turns before, A boundless deep, devoid of shore.
True, life is short, but many a flow'r Springs, if we search, within our pow'r; And, though not long its compass, still It lasts our duties to fulfil. Ask you in what those duties rest?Let man, my friend, consult his breast; And learn that science which, below, It most concerns his race to know. Say, to what end does heav'n impart This sensibility of heart? This wondrous faculty to feel For other's woe and other's weal; Till soul, throughout, combin'd with soul, The whole is self, and self the whole ? Say-wherefore lavish o'er our eyes This harmony of earth and skies? This beauteous universe prepare, Type of the Great, the Good, the Fair? Why but, through ev'ry crowded land, To raise the mind, the heart expand ? To call from envy, sloth, and pride, Ambition's foul and feverish tide, To virtue, wisdom, truth, refin’d, And active love of human kind ?
Nor let the vain, th' illiterate say That learning leads the soul astray; Contracts the social stream that flows, And chills the breast with Zembla's snows. — Look round the world, from east to west, Thro' tribes that roam, and tribes that rest, Does man most sentimental seem Where science most withholds her beam? Are Afric's swarthy crowds, or those Whence Afric' draws her list of woes, of purer skin, but quite as blind To letters, and a cultur'd mindAre these, of all mankind, imprest With sympathies beyond the rest? With cheeks to glow, and nerves to feel For human nature's varying weal? Or, first o'er ignorance and night, When learning threw her struggling light, Illum'd the walls, the lovely views Of Paraclete or famed VaucluseOr where Lorenzo's genial sway Led up the dawn to brighter daySay—with the sacred flood that spread, Did malice loftier lift her head, Pride, envy, avarice, and crimes, Surpass the curse of former times? No: 'tis the philosophic page, The beam of science, soft and sage, That chief th' untutor'd heart inspires With generous views, and social fires; That to itself itself unveils, And fills with love that never fails.
O Drake! the man who thus has join'd The virtues of the heart and mind,