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Dismiss me, weary, to a safe retreat
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me, then, that once, when call'd
To dress a Sofa with the flow'rs of verse,
I play'd awhile, obedient to the fair,
With that light Talk: but soon, to please her more,
Whom flow'rs alone I knew would little please,
Let fall th' unfinish'd wreath, and rov'd for fruit;
Ror'd far, and gather'd much: fome harsh, 'tis true,
Pick'd from the thorns and briers of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digested ; grateful fome
To palates that can talte immortal truth

;
Infipid elfe, and sure to be despis’d.
But all is in His hand whose praise I seek,
In vain the poet fings, and the world hears,
If be regard not, though divine the theme.
'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 ftraing
Whose approbation--prosper even mine.

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AN

EPISTLE

TO

JOSEPH HILL, Esec

DEAR Joseph-five and twenty years ago Alas, how time escapes !--'tis even foWith 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 in ancient days) Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings Strange fluctuation of all human things ! True. Changes will befall, and friends may party But distance only cannot change the heart :

And, were I callid to prove th' assertion 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 fhort about Nay-stay at honle-you're always going out, "Tis but a step, Sir, just at the street's end.--For what?-An please you, Sir, td fee a friend. A friend! Horatio cried, and seem'd to startce Yea marry shalt thou, and with all

heart. And fetch my cloak; for though the night be raw, I'll see him too--the first I ever faw.

my

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, bis confidence just then betray'd,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he made;
Perhaps, 'twas mere good-humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth.
Howe'er it was, bis 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, verbofely spun)
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done,
Once on a time, an emp’ror, a wise man
No matter where, in China or Japan-
Decreed, 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 ;
Elle, could a law like that which I relate
Once have the fanction of our triple state,

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