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A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.

25

His frisking was at evening hours,

For then he lost his fear,
But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.

30

Eight years and five round rolling moons

He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.

I kept him for his humor's sake,

For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

35

But now beneath this walnut shade

He finds his long last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come.

40

He, still more aged, feels the shocks,

From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box,

Must soon partake his grave.

ON FRIENDSHIP:

Amicitia nisi inter bonos esse non potest.

CICERO.

WHAT virtue can we name, or grace,
But men unqualified and base

Will boast it their possession ?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,

And dulness of discretion.

5

But as the gem of richest cost
Is ever counterfeited most,

So, always, imitation
Employs the utmost skill she can
To counterfeit the faithful man,

The friend of long duration.

10

15

Some will pronounce me too severe
But long experience speaks me clear;

Therefore that census scorning,
I will proceed to mark the shelves,
On which so many dash themselves,

And give the simple warning.
Youth, unadmonished by a guide,
Will trust to any fair outside:

An error soon corrected;
For who, but learns, with riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,

Is most to be suspected!

20

25

But here again a danger lies
Lest, thus deluded by our eyes,

And taking trash for treasure,
We should, when undeceived, conclude
Friendship, imaginary good,

A mere Utopian pleasure.

30

An acquisition, rather rare,
Is yet no subject of despair,

Nor should it seem distressful,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or, where it was not to be found,

We sought it unsuccessful.

35

No friendship will abide the test
That stands on sordid interest,

And mean self-love erected; Nor such, as may awhile subsist 'Twixt sensualist and sensualist,

For vicious ends connected.

40

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Who hopes a friend, should have a heart,
Himself, well furnished for the part,

And ready on occasion
To show the virtue that he seeks;
For 'tis an union that bespeaks

A just reciprocation.

A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,

50

By ceaseless sharp corrosion; A temper passionate and fierce May suddenly your joys disperse

At one immense explosion.

55

In vain the talkative unite
With hope of permanent delight;

The secret just committed,
They drop through mere desire to prate,
Forgetting its important weight,

And by themselves outwitted.

60

How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams,

If envy chance to creep in;
An envious man, if you succeed,
May prove a dangerous foe indeed,

But not a friend worth keeping.

65

As envy pines at good possessed,
So jealousy looks forth distressed

On good that seems approaching;
And, if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching.

70

Hence authors of illustrious name, (Unless belied by common fame,)

Are sadly prone to quarrel;

75

To deem the wit a friend displays
So much of loss to their own praise,

And pluck each other's laurel.

80

A man renowned for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free

With friendship's finest feeling;
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And tell you, 'twas a special jest,

By way of balm for healing.

85

Beware of tattlers; keep your ear
Close stopped against the tales they bear;

Fruits of their own invention;
The separation of chief friends
Is what their kindness most intends;

Their sport is your dissension.

90

Friendship that wantonly admits
A joco-serious play of wits

In brilliant altercation,
Is union such as indicates,
Like hand-in-hand insurance-plates,

Danger of conflagration.

95

Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as the needle to the pole,

Yet shifting, like the weather,
The needle's constancy forego

100

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