Damon to His Friends
The billows of life are supprest,
Its tumults, its toils disappear,
To relinquish the storms that are past,
I think on the sunshine that's near.
Dame Fortune and I are agreed;
Her frowns I no longer endure;
For the Goddess has kindly decreed,
That Damon no more shall be poor.
Now riches will ope the dim eyes,
To view the increase of my store;
And many my friendship will prize
Who never saw Damon before.
But those I renounce and abjure,
Who carried contempt in their eye:
May poverty still be their dow'r
That could look on misfortune awry!
Ye pow'rs that weak mortals govern,
Keep pride at his bay from my mind;
O let me not haughtily learn
To despise the new friends that were kind
For theirs was a feeling sincere;
'Twas free from delusion and art;
O may I that friendship revere,
And hold it yet dear to my heart:
By which was I ever forgot;
It was both my physician and cure,
That still found the way to my cot,
Altho' I was wretched and poor:
'Twas balm to my canker-tooth'd care;
The wound of affliction it heal'd;
In distress it was Pity's soft tear,
When naked cold Poverty's shield.
Attend, ye kind youth of the plain!
Who oft with my sorrows condol'd;
You cannot be deaf to the strain,
Since Damon is master of gold.
I have chose a soft sylvan retreat,
Bedeck'd with the beauties of spring;
Around my flocks wander and bleat,
While the musical choristers sing.
I force not the waters to stand
In an artful canal at my door,
But a river at Nature's command,
Meanders both limpid and pure.
She's the Goddess that darkens my bow'rs
With tendrils of joy and of vine;
She tutors my shrubs and my flow'rs,
Her taste is the standard of mine.
What a pleasing diversified group
Of trees had she spread o'er my ground!
She has taught the grave laryx to droop,
And the birch to deal odours around.
For whom has she perfum'd my groves?
For whom has she clustered my vine?
If friendship despise my alcoves,
They'll ne'er be recesses of mine.
He who tastes the grapes juices by stealth,
Without chosen companions to share,
Is the basest of slaves to his wealth,
And the pitiful minion of care.
O come! and with Damon retire
Amidst the green umbrage embower'd;
Your mirth and your songs to inspire,
Shall the juice of his vintage be pour'd?
O come ye good friends of his youth!
Of all his good fortune partake;
Nor think 'tis departing from truth,
To say 'twas preserv'd for your sake.