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The man, whose virtues are more felt than seen,
Must drop indeed the hope of public praise;
But he may boast what few that win it can,
That if his country stand not by his skill,
At least his follies have not wrought her fall.
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Her golden tube, through which a sensual world
Draws gross impanity, and likes it well,
The neat conveyance hiding all the offence.
Not that he peevishly rejects a mode
Because that world adopts it. If it bear
The ftamp and clear impression of good sense,
And be not costly more than of true worth,
He puts it on, and for decorum sake
Can wear it e'en as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye, ,
He by the test of conscience, and a heart
Not foon deceived; aware that what is base
No polish can make sterling; and that vice,
Though well perfumed and elegantly drefled,
Like an unburied carcase tricked with flowers,
Is but a garnished nuisance, fitter far
For cleanly riddance than for fair attire.
So life glides smoothly and by stealth away,
More golden than that age of fabled gold
Renowned in ancient song; not vexed with care
Or stained with guilt, beneficent, approved
Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.
So glide my life away! and so at laft,
My share of duties decently fulfilled,
May fome disease, not tardy to perform
Its destined office, yet with gentle stroke,
Dismiss me weary to a fafe retreat,
Beneath the turf, that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me then, that once, when called
To dress a Sofa with the flowers of verse,
I played awhile, obedient to the fair,
With that light talk; but soon, to please her more,
Whom flowers alone I knew would little please,
Let fall the unfinished wreath, and roved for fruit;
Roved far, and gathered much: fome harsh, 'tis true,
Picked from the thorns and briars of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digested; grateful fome
To palates, that can tafte immortal truth;
Insipid else, and sure to be despised.
But all is in his hand, whose praise I seek.
la vain the poet sings, and the world hears,
If he 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 strain,
Whose approbation-profper even mine.
DEAR JOSEPH-five and twenty years ago
Alas how time escapes ! 'tis even som
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 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 part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I called to prove the affertion true,
One proof should seryea reference to you.