1783
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Stanzas on Friendship. In the Manner of Shenstone's Pastoral Ballad.

London Magazine NS 1 (September 1783) 233.

N.


Eight anapestic quatrains, "Occasion'd by the Author's receiving a Poetical Epistle from a Friend," signed "N." The poet and his friend approach the fane of Friendship: "We will come to thine altar, and bring | An off'ring which thou wilt receive, | Our hearts: and thy quirists will sing, | May they love thee as long as they live."



When night disappears in the west,
How refreshing the breath of the morn!
By zephyr's soft pinion embrac'd,
How fragrant the dew-spangled thorn!

How tuneful the nightingale's strain
That gladdens the villager's way,
While pacing the shadowy plain
He leaves ev'ry toil of the day!

So delightful the numbers that flow
From Friendship's affectionate heart:
So pleasing her blossoms that blow
Spontaneous, and blameless of art.

O Friendship, behold I presume
With my Delon to visit thy fane:
Our souls with thy spirit illume;
Nor let us invoke thee in vain.

We will come to thine altar, and bring
An off'ring which thou wilt receive,
Our hearts: and thy quirists will sing,
"May they love thee as long as they live.

"May they love thee, and feel thee beguile
The pains and the terrors of care:
And feel how thy lenient smile
Assuages the pang of despair!

"May thy bold exhortation inspire
Their bosoms with manly designs:
May they glow with thy generous fire
That enlivens, exalts, and refines!

"They will love thee, and with thee abide,
Thine elect; and thy hold behests
Are their law: and thy truth is their guide:
And thy tenderness reigns in their breasts."

[p. 233]