1 FROM friendship's cradle up the verdant paths
2 Of youth, life's jolly spring; and now sublim'd
3 To its full manhood and meridian strength,
4 Her latest stage, (for friendship ever hale
5 Knows not old age, diseases, and decay,
6 But burning keeps her sacred fire, 'till death's
7 Cold hand extinguish) at this spot, this point,
8 Here P***, we social meet, and gaze about,
9 And look back to the scenes our pastime trod
10 In nature's morning, when the gamesome hours
11 Had sliding feet, and laugh'd themselves away.
12 Luxurious season! vital prime! where Thames
13 Flows by Etona's walls, and cheerful sees
14 Her sons wide swarming; or where sedgy Cam
15 Bathes with slow pace his academic grove,
16 Pierian walks! — O never hope again,
17 (Impossible! untenable!) to grasp
18 Those joys again; to feel alike the pulse
19 Dancing, and fiery spirits boiling high:
20 Or see the pleasure that with careless wing
21 Swept on, and flow'ry garlands toss'd around
22 Disporting! Try to call her back — as well
23 Bid yesterday return, arrest the flight
24 Of Time; or musing by a river's brink,
25 Say to the wave that huddles swiftly by
26 For ever, from thy fountain roll anew.
27 The merriment, the tale, and heartfelt laugh
28 That echo'd round the table, idle guests,[Page 266]
29 Must rise, and serious inmates take their place.
30 Reflection's daughters, sad and world-worn thoughts
31 Dislodging Fancy's empire — Yet who knows
32 Exact the balance of our loss and gain?
33 Who knows how far a rattle may outweigh
34 The mace or scepter? But as boys resign
35 The play-thing, bauble of their infancy,
36 So fares it with maturer years: they sage,
37 Imagination's airy regions quit,
38 And under Reason's banner take the field,
39 With resolution face the cloud or storm,
40 While all their former rainbows die away.
41 Some to the palace with regardful step,
42 And courtly blandishment resort, and there
43 Advance obsequious; in the sunshine bask
44 Of princely grace, catch the creating eye,
45 Parent of honours: — in the senate some
46 Harangue the full-bench'd auditory, and wield
47 Their list'ning passion (such the pow'r, the sway
48 Of Reason's eloquence!) — or at the bar,
49 Where Cowper, Talbot, Somers, Yorke before
50 Pleaded their way to glory's chair supreme,
51 And worthy fill'd it. Let not these great names
52 Damp, but incite: nor Murray's praise obscure
53 Thy younger merit. Know, these lights, ere yet
54 To noon-day lustre kindled, had their dawn.
55 Proceed familiar to the gate of Fame,
56 Nor think the task severe, the prize too high
57 Of toil and honour, for thy father's son.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): To C*** P****, Esq;
Author: Sneyd Davies
Themes: age; friendship; memory
Genres: blank verse
References: DMI 27895
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.