Laura Sophia Temple

To My Best Friend

"Yet Hope was once my parasite,
"And flattered, and revelled, and ruined."

Thou ask'st, my Friend, why starts th' unbidden tear,
    Why from its prison bursts the labouring sigh,
Why the shrunk leaf that speaks the faded year,
    Is gazed on with a cold indiff'rent eye?

When o'er my features steals the gloom of thought,
    Thou wond'rest where my vagrant fancies stray,
Oh! seek not information dearly bought,
    Seek not to cloud thy bosom's orient day.

Ah! let me gaze upon that seraph smile
    Whose sunshine still can warm this desert breast;
Still let those accents spread their magic wile
    That sweetly oft have lull'd my woes to rest.

Pour on my fainting soul thy melting notes,
    Softer than Spring's lone minstrel can bestow
While thro' the list'ning air thy cadence floats,
    The sigh shall cease, the tears forget to flow.

Still let me pause, and catch that liquid glance,
    Feel on my hectic cheek the musky breath,
Still lock'd in fancy's rich and melting trance,
    No longer mourn o'er friendship's early death.

Have I not thee my erring steps to guide,
    Have I not thee to smile my griefs away?
Thee in whose bosom flows Truth's mantling tide,
    Whose proud mind blazes in eternal day.

What hand shall sketch the outline of that mind,
    What pencil dare its excellence to trace,
What touch so bold, what colours so refin'd
    As suits the drap'ry of each awful grace?

Friend! Parent! Guardian of my virgin fame!
    The beaming Orb that lights my dubious way!
When will thy tongue my passions fail to tame,
    Thy conqu'ring virtues cease to urge their sway?

Let others sound the praise of trait'rous Love,
    Let others weave the light fantastic dream,
To loftier regions shall my fancy rove,
    My artless lyre shall boast a nobler theme.

Accept the verse, O Pilot of my life!
    Let not thy polish'd taste disdain the song;
'Twill sooth this fev'rish frame's rebellious strife,
    And bid soft peace in silence steal along.

Or let me muse o'er Nature's vanish'd bloom,
    And try the balm retirement can impart;
I feel, I feel my spirit pant for room,
    The world weighs heavy on my bankrupt heart.

A barren World, where coward Guilt resides,
    Whose pois'nous whisper blasts the blush of youth,
Where sick'ning want from all, its mis'ry hides,
    Where Falshood lurks beneath the veil of Truth.

Soft as the argent whiteness of the Morn
    Doth Love's gay smile the dazzling sight arrest,
But soon by Reason's hand the mask is torn,
    And all the deep deception stands confest.--

Yet hold! One Star in Life's dark sky remains,
    Nor yet to me is all its bloom defac'd,
For thou majestic, still while tumult reigns
    Smil'st in proud grandeur midst Creation's waste.

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