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THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS.
FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you stint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendships; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare who, in a civil way,
Comply'd with every thing, like GAY,
Was known by all the bestial train
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain ;
Her care was never to offend ;
And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn, To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies.
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles, to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round;
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half-dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew, When first the Horse appear'd in view!
“Let me,” says she, “ your back ascend, And owe my safety to a friend. You know my feet betray my flight: To friendship every burden's light.”
The Horse reply'd, “Poor honest Puss, It grieves my heart to see thee thus : Be comforted, relief is near, For all your friends are in the rear."
She next the stately Bull implor'd; And thus reply'd the mighty lord: “ Since
beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend.
Love calls me hence; a fav’rite Cow
Expects me near yon' barley-mow;
And, when a lady's in the case,
You know, all other things give place.
To leave you thus, might seem unkind;
But see, the Goat is just behind.”
The Goat remark’d, “ her pulse was high, ller languid head, her heavy eye:”
My back," says he, “ may do you harm; The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm.”
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd
66 His sides a load of wool sustain’d;
Said, he was slow, confess'd his fears ;
For Hounds ate Sheep as well as Hares."
She now the trotting Calf address’d, To save from death a friend distress'd.
" Shall I,” says he,“ of tender age, In this important care engage ? Older and abler pass’d you by ; How strong are those ! how weak am I ! Should I presume to bear you hence, Those friends of mine may take offence. Excuse me, then; you
heart; But dearest friends, alas! must part. How shall we all lament! Adieu ; For
see, the hounds are just in view.”
O SAY, thou dear possessor of my breast,
Where now's my boasted liberty and rest !
Where the gay moments that I once have known !
O where that heart I fondly thought my own!
From place to place I solitary roam,
Abroad uneasy, not content at home.
I scorn the beauties common eyes adore,
The more I view them, feel thy worth the more:
Unmov'd I hear them speak, or see them fair,
And only think on thee,--who art not there.
In vain would books their former succour lend,
Nor wit, nor wisdom, can relieve their friend;
Wit can't deceive the pain I now endure,
And wisdom shows the ill without the cure,