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TO

A FRIEND.

OCCASIONED BY

AN ODE

WRITTEN BY MRS, CATH. PHILIPS.

BY MRS. CARTER.

NARCISSA! still thro' every varying name,
My constant care and bright enlivening theme,
In what soft language shall the Muse declare
The fond extravagance of love sincere?
How all those pleasing sentiments convey
That charm my fancy, when I think on thee?
A theme like this Orinda's thoughts inspir’d,
Nor less by Friendship, than by Genius fir'd.
Then let her happier, more persuasive art
Explain th’agreeing dictates of my heart :
Sweet

may

her fame to late remembrance bloom, And everlasting laurels shade her tomb, Whose spotless verse with genuine force exprest The brightest passion of the human breast.

In what blest clime, beneath what favoring skies, Did thy fair form, propitious Friendship, rise ? With mystie sense, the poet's tuneful tongue Urania's birth in glittering fiction sung; That Paphos first her smiling presence own'd, Which wide diffus'd its happy influence round. With hands united, and with looks serene, Th’attending graces hail'd their new-born queen ; The zephyrs round her wav'd their purple wing, And shed the fragrance of the breathing spring; The rosy hours, advanc'd in silent Aight, Led sparkling youth, and ever new delight. Soft sigh the winds, the waters gently roll, A purer azure vest the lucid pole, All nature welcom'd in the beauteous train, And heaven and earth smil'd conscious of the scene.

But long ere Paphos rose, or poet sung, In heavenly breasts the sacred passion sprung: The same bright flames in raptur'd seraphs glow, As warm consenting tempers here below: While one attraction, Mortal, Angel, binds, Virtue, which forms the unison of minds : Friendship her soft harmonious touch affords, And gently strikes the sympathetic chords, Th' agreeing notes in social measures roll, And the sweet concert flows from soul to soul.

By heaven's enthusiastic impulse taught, What shining visions rose on Plato's thought!

While by the Muses' gently winding flood,
His searching fancy trac'd the sovereign good !
The laurel’d sisters touch'd the vocal lyre,
And wisdom's goddess led their tuneful choir.
Beneath the genial Plantane's spreading shade,
How sweet the philosophic music play'd !
Thro' all the grove, along the flowery shore,
The charming sounds responsive echoes bore.
Here, from the cares of vulgar life refin'd,
Immortal pleasures open'd on his mind:
In gay succession to his ravish'd eyes
The animating powers of Beauty rise ;
On every object round, above, below,
Quick to the sight her vivid colors glow :
Yet, not to matter's shadowy forms confin'd,
The fair and good he sought remain'd behind;
Till gradual rising thro’ the boundless whole,
He view’d the blooming graces of the soul;
Where, to the beam of intellectual day,
The genuine charms of moral beauty play:
With pleasing force the strong attractions move
Each finer sense, and tune it into love.

TO

MYRTILIS.

THE NEW YEAR'S OFFERING.

BY

SAM. JOHNSON, L. L. D.

MADAM,
Long have I look'd my tablets o'er,
And find I've much to thank

you

for ; Out-standing debts beyond account, And new-who knows to what amount ? Tho'small my wealth, not small my soul : Come, then at once, I'll pay the whole.

Ye Powers! I'm rich, and will command The host of slaves that round me stand ; Come, Indian, quick disclose thy store, And hither bring Peruvian ore ; Let yonder negro pierce the main, The choicest, largest pearl to gain :

Let all my slaves their arts combine
To make the blushing ruby mine,
From eastern thrones the diamonds bear
To sparkle at her breast and ear.
Swift, Scythian, point th' unerring dart,
That strikes the Ermine's little heart,
And search for choicest furs the globe
To make my MYRTILIS a robe.

Ah, no : Yon Indian will not go, No Scythian deigns to bend his bow. No sullen Negro shoots the flood. How, slaves ! -Or am I understood ! All, all, my empty power disown, I turn and find myself alone ; 'Tis Fancy's vain illusion all, Nor Moor nor Scythian waits my call. Can I command, can I consign? Alas, what earthly thing is mine?

Come then, my Muse, companion dear Of poverty, and soul sincere, Come dictate to my grateful mind A gift that may acceptance find ; Come, gentle Muse, and with thee bear An offering worthy thee and her ; And though thy presents be but poor, My MYRTILis will ask no more.

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