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Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou: And, Oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven, For earthly Love to merit thee.
March 14th, 1812.
ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS BROKEN.
ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain ? Have years
of care for thine and thee Alike been all employd in vain ?
Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
And every fragment dearer grown, Since he who wears thee, feels thou art
A fitter emblem of his own.
[This poem and the following were written some years ago.]
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.
Few years have pass'd since thou and I
Were firmest friends, at least in name, And childhood's gay sincerity
Preserved our feelings long the same.
But now, like me, too well thou know'st
What trifles oft the heart recall;
Too soon forget they loved at all.
And such the change the heart displays,
So frail is early friendship’s reign,
Will view thy mind estranged again.
If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart; The fault was Nature's fault, not thine,
Which made thee fickle as thou art.
As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
So human feelings ebb and flow; And who would in a breast confide
Where stormy passions ever glow ?
It boots not, that together bred,
Our childish days were days of joy ; My spring of life has quickly fled;
Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy.
And when we bid adieu to youth,
Slaves to the specious world's control, We sigh a long farewell to truth ;
That world corrupts the noblest soul. 8. Ah, joyous season! when the mind
Dares all things boldly but to lie; When thought ere spoke is unconfined,
And sparkles in the placid eye.
Not so in Man's maturer years,
When Man himself is but a tool; When interest sways our hopes and fears,
And all must love and hate by rule.
With fools in kindred vice the same,
We learn at length our faults to blend, And those, and those alone may claim
The prostituted name of friend.
Such is the common lot of man:
Can we then 'scape from folly free? Can we reverse the general plan,
Nor be what all in turn must be ?
No, for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been; Man and the world I so much hate,
I care not when I quit the scene.
But thou, with spirit frail and light,
Wilt shine awhile and pass away; As glow-worms sparkle through the night,
But dare not stand the test of day.
Alas! whenever folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet, (For cherish'd first in royal halls,
The welcome vices kindly greet)
Ev'n now thou’rt nightly seen to add
One insect to the fluttering crowd ; And still thy trifling heart is glad,
To join the vain, and court the proud.