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It freshens o'er thy thoughtful face,
Imparting, in its glad embrace,
Beauty to beauty, grace to grace !
Fair Nature's book together read,
The old wood-paths that knew our tread,
The maple shadows overhead, —
The hills we climbed, the river seen
By gleams along its deep ravinę, —
All keep thy memory fresh and green.
The half-seen memories of childish days,
When pains and pleasures lightly came and went;
The sympathies of boyhood rashly spent
In fearful wanderings through forbidden ways;
The vague, but manly wish to tread the maze
Of life to noble ends, - whereon intent,
Asking to know for what man here is sent,
The bravest heart must often pause, and gaze;
The firın resolve to seek the chosen end
Of manhood's judgment, cautious and mature, —
Each of these viewless bonds binds friend to friend
With strength no selfish purpose can secure :
My happy lot is this, that all attend
That friendship which first came, and which shall
Where'er I look, where'er I stray,
Thy thought goes with me on my way,
And hence the prayer I breathe to-day :
O'er lapse of time and change of scene,
The weary waste which lies between
Thyself and me, my heart I lean.
Thou lack’st not Friendship's spellword, nor
The half-unconscious power to draw
All hearts to thine by Love's sweet law.
With these good gifts of God is cast
Thy lot, and many a charm thou hast
To hold the blessed angels fast.
FROM "HAMLET," ACT 111. SC. 2.
HAM. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal.
HOR. O my dear lord -
Nay, do not think I flatter:
For what advancement may I hope from thee
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor
be flattered ?
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou
If, then, a fervent wish for thee
The gracious heavens will heed from me,
What should, dear heart, its burden be ?
The sighing of a shaken reed, -
What can I more than meekly plead
The greatness of our common need ?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath sealed thee for herself; for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing, -
A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
Hast ta’en with equal thanks; and blessed are
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please : Give me that
man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.
COME, dear old comrade, you and I
Will steal an hour from days gone by, -
The shining days when life was new,
And all was bright as morning dew, —
The lusty days of long ago,
When you were Bill and I was Joe.
Your name may flaunt a titled trail,
Proud as a cockerel's rainbow tail ;
And mine as brief appendix wear
As Tam O'Shanter's luckless mare;
To-day, old friend, remember still
That I am Joe and you are Bill.
You've won the great world's envied prize,
And grand you look in people's eyes,
With H O N. and L L. D.
In big brave letters, fair to see, -
Your fist, old fellow! off they go !
How are you, Bill? How are you, Joe ?
FRIENDSHIP. A RUDDY drop of manly blood The surging sea outweighs ; The world uncertain comes and goes, The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was fled, And, after many a year, Glowed unexhausted kindliness, Like daily sunrise there. My careful heart was free again; O friend, my bosom said, Through thee alone the sky is arched, Through thee the rose is red; All things through thee take nobler form, And look beyond the earth ; The mill-round of our fate appears A sun-path in thy worth. Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
You've worn the judge's ermined robe;
You've taught your name to half the globe;
You've sung mankind a deathless strain;
You've made the dead past live again :
The world may call you what it will,
But you and I are Joe and Bill.
The chaffing young folks stare and say,
“See those old buffers, bent and gray ;
They talk like fellows in their teens!
Mad, poor old boys! That's what it means,"
And shake their heads; they little know
The throbbing hearts of Bill and Joe !
How Bill forgets his hour of pride,
While Joe sits smiling at his side ;
How Joe, in spite of time's disguise,
Finds the old schoolmate in his eyes, –
Those calm, stern eyes that melt and fill
As Joe looks fondly up at Bill.
THE MEMORY OF THE HEART. IF stores of dry and learned lore we gain, We keep them in the memory of the brain ; Names, things, and facts, — whate'er we knowl
edge call, There is the common ledger for them all; And images on this cold surface traced Make slight impression, and are soon effaced. But we've a page, more glowing and more bright, On which our friendship and our love to write; That these may never from the soul depart, We trust them to the memory of the heart. There is no dimming, no effacement there; Each new pulsation keeps the record clear; Warm, golden letters all the tablet fill, Nor lose their lustre till the heart stands still.
Ah, pensive scholar, what is fame ?
A fitful tongue of leaping flame;
A giddy whirlwind's fickle gust,
That lifts a pinch of mortal dust:
A few swift years, and who can show
Which dust was Bill, and which was Joe ?
The weary idol takes his stand,
Holds out his bruised and aching hand,
While gaping thousands come and go, -
How vain it seems, this empty show !
Till all at once his pulses thrill,
'T is poor old Joe's “God bless you, Bill!"