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Friendship

       
         ‘Neque ego nunc de vulgari aut de mediocri, quæ
      tamen ipsa et delectat et prodest, sed de vera et perfecta
      loquor (amicitia) qualis eorum, qui pauci nominantur,
      fuit.’–CICERO.

     
    O thou most holy Friendship! wheresoe’er
       Thy dwelling be–for in the courts of man
    But seldom thine all-heavenly voice we hear,
       Sweet’ning the moments of our narrow span;
    And seldom thy bright foot-steps do we scan
       Along the weary waste of life unblest,
    For faithless is its frail and wayward plan,
       And perfidy is man’s eternal guest,
    With dark suspicion link’d and shameless interest!–

     
    ’Tis thine, when life has reach’d its final goal,
       Ere the last sigh that frees the mind be giv’n,
    To speak sweet solace to the parting soul,
       And pave the bitter path that leads to heav’n:
    ’Tis thine, whene’er the heart is rack’d and riv’n
       By the hot shafts of baleful calumny,
    When the dark spirit to despair is driv’n,
       To teach its lonely grief to lean on thee,
    And pour within thine ear the tale of misery.

     
    But where art thou, thou comet of an age,
       Thou phœnix of a century? Perchance
    Thou art but of those fables which engage
       And hold the minds of men in giddy trance.
    Yet, be it so, and be it all romance,
       The thought of thine existence is so bright
    With beautiful imaginings–the glance
       Upon thy fancied being such delight,
    That I will deem thee Truth, so lovely is thy might!
     


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