Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERSES, RESPECTFULLY & AFFECTIONALLY INSCRIBED TO PROFESSIONAL FRIEND, by BERNARD BARTON



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VERSES, RESPECTFULLY & AFFECTIONALLY INSCRIBED TO PROFESSIONAL FRIEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou art not one of those, who, by retreating
Last Line: A wreath more deathless far than I have woven thee?
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Advice; Professions


THOU art not one of those, who, by retreating
Far from the tumult of life's busy throng,
Have foster'd feelings, fair; but, oh how fleeting!—
Fraught with delight to every child of song:
Yet should I do thee, sure, ungrateful wrong,
Did I not feel a poet's warmest pride
In styling thee my patron: since among
The few, whose partial smiles have hope supplied,
Thine, dear for friendship's sake, have never been denied.

Yet when at first I met thee, (pardon me,
I did not know thee then as now I do,)
I scarcely dar'd to hope that there might be
One rallying point between us: well I knew,
By common fame, thy life to honour true;
Integrity unquestion'd, warm good-will;
And yet I could but think how very few
Can mingle with the world, and cherish still
That genuine love of song which worldly feelings chill.

The panting pilgrim, who on Arab's sands
Plods wearily along the sterile scene,
Where far and wide a dreary waste expands;
When on his eye a glimpse of living green
Glances at distance, with what alter'd mien
He journeys on: hope in his bosom glows,
And fancy's eye beholds the bickering sheen
Of the fair streamlet, as it freshly flows,
Beside whose brink ere long he gladly shall repose.

And such the feeling was, by thee excited,
When first this volume ask'd thy friendly aid:
All I could ask was given, though unrequited,
Except as far as feeble thanks repaid
Thy generous efforts; still more grateful made
By that unpatronising grace, which cast
O'er kindnesses conferr'd a partial shade
As wishing them to be unheeded past;
Despite that delicate veil their memory long shall last.

To thee, and one like thee, whose honour'd name
Could not be honour'd more by verse of mine,
These fleeting pages owe their right to claim
Existence; and if here and there a line,
Worthy a votary of the tuneful Nine,
Be found to nature's better feelings true;
Or in my verses aught of genius shine,
Or passion's genuine tone, or fancy's hue;
Much of their meed of praise is justly due to you.

Enough of this:—'tis time such theme should end,
Yet more might be forgiven: could he say less,
Who in a stranger finds a steadfast friend?
No, surely not: the warm heart will express
What generous bosoms easily may guess
Is glowing in it: it will entertain
Wishes most ardent for the happiness
Of those who've foster'd it: nor can refrain
E'en when expression gives a sense of transient pain.

One of the purest blessings life can give,
Is felt by those, who, ere its final close,
Have given decided proof they did not live
For themselves only: this the parent knows,
Who, ere he sink to Nature's last repose,
Sees round him those who owe their all to him;
While the warm smile that in each visage glows
Lends buoyant vigour to the languid limb,
And keeps the cup of joy still mantling to its brim.

Nor less his pure delight, though far more rare,
Who lonely, not unlov'd;—by ties unbound,
Except by choice impos'd, and free as air,
Attaches to him those whose hearts have found
Much in the world to inflict that rankling wound
Which disappointment deals. Oh! does not he,
(If ever bard his benefactor crown'd,)
Deserve that round his brows entwin'd should be
A wreath more deathless far than I have woven thee?





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