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2.

The recollection seems alone

Dearer than all the joys I've known
When distant far from you:

Though pain, 'tis still a pleasing pain,
To trace those days and hours again,
And sigh again adieu!

3.

My pensive memory lingers o'er
Those scenes to be enjoy'd no more,
Those scenes regretted ever:
The measure of our youth is full,
Life's evening dream is dark and dull,
And we may meet-ah! never!

4.

As when one parent spring supplies

Two streams which from one fountain rise,

Together join'd in vain;

How soon, diverging from their source,
Each, murmuring, seeks another course,
Till mingled in the main!

5.

Our vital streams of weal or woe,
Though near, alas! distinctly flow,
Nor mingle as before:

Now swift or slow, now black or clear,
Till death's unfathom'd gulf appear,
And both shall quit the shore.

6.

Our souls, my friend! which once supplied
One wish, nor breathed a thought beside,
Now flow in different channels:
Disdaining humbler rural sports,
'Tis yours to mix in polish'd courts,
And shine in fashion's annals;

7.

'Tis mine to waste on love my time,
Or vent my reveries in rhyme
Without the aid of reason;

For sense and reason (critics know it)
Have quitted every amorous poet,
Nor left a thought to seize on.

8.

Poor LITTLE! sweet, melodious bard!
Of late esteem'd it monstrous hard
That he who sang before all,
He who the lore of love expanded,
By dire reviewers should be branded
As void of wit and moral*.

9.

And yet, while Beauty's praise is thine,
Harmonious favourite of the Nine!

* These stanzas were written soon after the appearance of a severe critique, in a northern review, on a new publication of the British Anacreon,

Repine not at thy lot:

Thy soothing lays may still be read,
When Persecution's arm is dead,
And critics are forgot.

10.

Still I must yield those worthies merit,
Who chasten, with unsparing spirit,

Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
And though myself may be the next
By critic sarcasm to be vext,

I really will not fight them*.

11.

Perhaps they would do quite as well
To break the rudely sounding shell
Of such a young beginner.
He who offends at pert nineteen,
Ere thirty may become, I ween,
A very harden'd sinner.

Now,

2

12.

I must return to you;

And sure apologies are due:
Accept, then, my concession.

In truth, dear

in fancy's flight

I soar along from left to right;

My muse admires digression.

A bard (horresco referens) defied his reviewer to mortal combat. If this example becomes prevalent, our periodical censors must be dipped in the river Styx; for what else can secure them from the numerous host of their enraged assailants?

13.

I think I said 't would be your
To add one star to royal state,

fate

May regal smiles attend you!
And should a noble monarch reign,
You will not seek his smiles in vain,
If worth can recommend you.

14.

Yet since in danger courts abound,
Where specious rivals glitter round,

From snares may saints preserve you!
And grant your love or friendship ne'er
From any claim a kindred care,
But those who best deserve you!

15.

Not for a moment may you stray
From truth's secure unerring way!
May no delights decoy!

O'er roses may your footsteps move!
Your smiles be ever smiles of love!
Your tears be tears of joy!

16.

Oh! if you wish that happiness
Your coming days and years may bless,

And virtues crown your brow,

Be still as you were wont to be,
Spotless as you've been known to me,—

Be still as you are now.

17.

And though some trifling share of praise,
To cheer my last declining days,
To me were doubly dear;
Whilst blessing your beloved name,
I'd wave at once a poet's fame,
To prove a prophet here.

ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT VERSES SENT BY A FRIEND TO THE AUTHOR, COMPLAINING THAT ONE OF HIS DESCRIPTIONS WAS RATHER TOO WARMLY DRAWN.

"But if any old lady, knight, priest, or physician,
Should condemn me for printing a second edition;
If good Madam Squintum my work should abuse,
May I venture to give her a smack of my muse?"
Anstey's New Bath Guide, p. 169.

CANDOUR compels me, BECHER! to commend
The verse which blends the censor with the friend.
Your strong, yet just, reproof extorts applause
From me, the heedless and imprudent cause.
For this wild error which pervades my strain,
I sue for pardon,-must I sue in vain?

These lines were printed in the private volume, and in the first edition of Hours of Idleness, but afterwards omitted.-ED,

+ Imprudent. In the private volume, unworthy.—ED. Private volume, sole.-ED.

+ Wild.

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