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Celestial Happiness, whene'er she stoops To visit Earth, one shrine the goddess finds, And one alone, to make her sweet amends For absent Heaven - the bosom of a friend; Where heart meets heart, reciprocally soft, Each other's pillow to repose divine. Beware the counterfeit ; in passion's flame Hearts melt, but melt like ice, soon harder froze, True love strikes root in reason ; passion's foe : Virtue alone entenders us for life : I wrong her much - entenders us for ever: Of Friendship's fairest fruits, the fruit most fair Is virtue kindling at a rival fire, And, emulously, rapid in her race. O the soft enmity ! endearing strife! This carries friendship to her noon-tide point, And gives the rivet of eternity.
(themes, From Friendship, which outlives my former Glorious survivor of old Time and Death; From Friendship, thus, that flower of heavenly seed; The wise extract Earth's most Hyblean bliss, Superior wisdom, crown'd with smiling joy.
But for whom blossoms this Elysian flower ? Abroad they find, who cherish it at home. Lorenzo ! pardon what my love extorts, 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, Or fascination of a high-born smile. Their smiles, the great, and the coquet, throw out.
For others' hearts, tenacious of their own;
What if (since daring on so nice a theme)
So sung he, (angels hear that angels sing
He drank long health, and virtue, to his friend; His friend, who warm’d him more, who more in
spir’d. Friendship 's the wine of life; but friendship new (Not such was his) is neither strong, nor pure. 0! for the bright complexion, cordial warmth, And elevating spirit, of a friend, For twenty summers ripening by my side, All feculence of falsehood long thrown down; All social virtues rising in his soul; As crystal clear ; and smiling as they rise ! Here nectar flows; it sparkles in our sight; Rich to the taste, and genuine from the heart : High-flavour'd bliss for gods! on Earth how rare ! On Earth how lost! – Philander is no more.
Think'st thou the theme intoxicates my song ? Am 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-conceal’d, Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes 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 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, And cast in shadows his illustrious close. Strange! the theme most affecting, most sublime, *
Momentous most to man, should sleep unsung!
Dare I presume, then? but Philander bids;
The chamber where the good man meets his fate, Is privileg'd beyond the common walk Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of Heaven. Fly, ye profane! If not, draw near with awe, Receive the blessing, and adore the chance, That threw in this Bethesda your disease ; If unrestor'd by this, despair your cure. For, here, resistless demonstration dwells; A death-bed 's a detector of the heart. Here tir'd dissimulation drops her mask, Through life's grimace, that mistress of the scene! Here real, and apparent, are the same.
You see the man ; you see his hold on Heaven,
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays,
agonies, (Like the stars struggling through this midnight
gloom,) What gleams of joy! what more than human peace ! Where, the frail mortal ? the poor abject worm? No, not in death, the mortal to be found. His conduct is a legacy for all ; Richer than Mammon's for his single heir. llis comforters he comforts; great in ruin,