To Friendship

Miss Vardill

Friendship, minister of Pleasure!
 Reason’s pupil, Nature’s pride,
Here diffuse thy boundless treasure,
 Here ’midst kindred hearts preside!
Friendship, first and richest blessing
 Heav’n on peevish man bestows!
Light of Life’s uncertain morning,
 Solace of its wintry close!

In the woe-worn heart’s recesses
 Still some fond remembrance swells;
While it yet its warmth possesses
 There thy sacred relic dwells!
Ere that heart in death reposes
 Oft it fondly calls thee near;
While the dying eye uncloses,
 Still it asks thy balmy tear!

From the Arab’s pearl-pav’d fountains,
 From Peruvia’s golden dome,
Why to Albion’s misty mountains
 Turns the wearied wand’rer home?
Still for social pleasures praying,
 There his warmest wishes end:
There his faithful Fancy straying
 Paints his Cottage and his Friend!

As the rose, tho’ stripp’d and faded,
 Long its precious essence gives,
Friendship, tho’ by Death invaded,
 Still thy purest spirit lives!
Not for crowns — let monarchs prize them,
 Not for fame my pray’rs ascend:
Give me but what Fate denies them — 
 Give me quiet and a Friend!