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THE FRIENDSHIP FLOWER.
When first the Friendship-flower is planted
Within the garden of your soul, Little of care or thought are wanted
To guard its beauty fresh and whole; But when the one empassion'd age
Has full reveal'd the magic bloom, A wise and holy tutelage
Alone can shun the open tomb.
For absence is the very air
Shall wave most wonderful and fair ;
Fed, as with morn and even dews, Ideal colouring it may borrow
Richer than ever earthly hues.
But oft the plant, whose leaves unsere
Refresh the desert, hardly brooks
The common-peopled atmosphere
Of daily thoughts, and words, and looks;
Of many a careless fashion-fly,
To taint it as they wanton by.
That must not wholly fall and fade,
Spring up, beset, and overshade ;
To glorify some needy spot,
To pine neglected and forgot.
Or close of their permitted day,
Such find creations lapse away,
Sick odours of departed pride, Hoard as ye will your memory's gain,
But let them perish where they died.
Acquaintance I would have, but when t' depends Not on the number, but the choice of friends.
What virtue, or what mental grace,
Will boast it their possession?
And dulness of discretion.
If every polished gem we find,
Provoke to imitation ;
Or rather constellation.
No knave but boldly will pretend
A real and a sound one;
And dream that he had found one.
Candid, and generous, and just,
An error soon corrected,
For who but learns in riper years,
Is most to be suspected ?
And taken trash for treasure.
A mere Utopian pleasure.
Nor is it wise complaining,
We sought without attaining.
Or mean self love erected ; Nor such as may awhile subsist Between the sot and sensualist,
For vicious ends connected. Who seeks a friend should come disposed. To exhibit in full bloom disclosed
The graces and the beauties, That form the character he seeks, For 'tis a union, that bespeaks