Lines to a Young Friend

Miss Richardson

Lines addressed to a young friend on her birthday

What it is to your friends, may this day be to you
And each year in revolving the pleasure renew!
May no cloud cast its shade, and no cold chilling blight
Destroy youth’s fair promise of opening delight
But may heaven watch o’er you with fostering care
And blessings unfading disperse to your share.
Or if sorrow’s dark hour one day must be yours
Whose winter of pain ev’ry mortal endures,
May heaven but frown as a parent dear child
And its chastening hand still be lenient and mild,
Then like the fair lily that bends in the rain
You will shake off the drops and rise fresher again
But long may the season of gaiety last
Which smiles on the present, the future, and past
May pleasure long tune your soft voice’s clear sound
And lend wings to your feet in the dance’s light round
Long may you the winning playfulness happily blend
With sense that endears the companion and friend
Nor e’er affectation with sick’ning grimace
The intelligence banish which beams in your face
Nor e’er may the flatt’ry you one day will hear
Be thought of but just as it passes your ear,
Still the pride of your friends and reward of this verse
Be it ever your blessing, that you may be theirs.

And you own chosen comforts may heaven improve
By show’ring its mercies on those you best love.
Tho’ future attachments your feelings engage
Still the friends of your youth be the friends of your age.
In the bosom of kindness thus may you remain
And heaven avert you should e’er feel the pain
As chords twin’d round the heart but to sunder again
But may time as it proferrs new blossoms of joy
None cherished before, take away or destroy
And long may you be, as you ever have been
The bright little sun-beam that gladdens the scene.