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Oh! sweet are all the Muses' lays,
And sweet the charm of matin bird ; 'Twas long since these estranged ears
The sweeter voice of friend had heard.
The voice hath spoke: the pleasant sounds
In memory's ear in after time
And sometimes prompt an honest rhyme.
For, when the transient charm is filed,
And when the little week is o’er, To cheerless, friendless, solitude
When I return, as heretofore,
Long, long, within my aching heart
The grateful sense shall cherish'd be; I'll think less meanly of myself,
That Lloyd will sometimes think on me.
THE THREE FRIENDS.
THREE young maids in friendship met ;
Fortune upon each one smild, As upon a fav'rite child ; Well to do and well to see Were the parents of all three; Till on Martha's father crosses Brought a flood of worldly losses, And his fortunes rich and great Chang'd at once to low estate; Under which o'erwhelming blow Martha's mother was laid low; She a hapless orphan left, Of maternal care bereft, Trouble following trouble fast, Lay in a sick bed at last.
In the depth of her affliction Martha now receiv'd conviction, That a true and faithful friend Can the surest comfort lend. Night and day, with friendship tried, Ever constant by her side Was her gentle Mary found, With a love that knew no bound ; And the solace she imparted Sav'd her dying broken-hearted.
In this scene of earthly things Not one good unmixed springs. That which had to Martha proved A sweet consolation, moved Different feelings of regret In the mind of Margaret. She, whose love was not less dear, Nor affection less sincere To her friend, was, by occasion Of more distant habitation, Fewer visits forc'd to pay her, When no other cause did stay her ; And her Mary living nearer, Margaret began to fear her, Lest her visits day by day Martha's heart should steal away. That whole heart she ill could spare her, Where till now she'd been a sharer. From this cause with grief she pined, Till at length her health declined. All her chearful spirits flew, Fast as Martha gather'd new; And her sickness waxed sore, Just when Martha felt no more.
Mary, who had quick suspicion Of her alter'd friend's condition, Seeing Martha's convalescenee Less demanded now her presence, With a goodness, built on reason, Chang'd her measures with the season; Turn’d her steps from Martha's door, Went where she was wanted more ; All her care and thoughts were set Now to tend on Margaret. Mary living 'twixt the two, From her home could oft'ner go, Either of her friends to see, Than they could together be.
Truth explain’d is to suspicion Evermore the best physician. Soon her visits had the effect; All that Margaret did suspect, From her fancy vanish'd clean; She was soon what she had been, And the colour she did lack To her faded cheek came back. Wounds which-love had made her feel, Love alone had power to heal.