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240 Forest melodies.
I hear them praise this lowly sphere;
They seek to lengthen out their days; Fasten their strong affections here,
And tread with joy the gilded maze : Show me its charms, its bliss, its ease; Show me its boasted power to please; Show aught that will not soon decay,— Thou canst not! nay, I would not stay.
" Friendship," say'st thou ? Ah, yes, 'tis sweet,
But, tell me, will it never end ? When adverse tempests wildly beat
Around thee, hast thou still a friend ? If so—but hark! I hear a knell,— That friend has bid the earth farewell! Thou'rt weeping o'er his breathless clay— Friendship is brief—I would not stay.
" Wealth !" What is wealth but glitt'ring dust, Long hoarded with a miser's care ?
Canst thou in riches put thy trust. And fasten thine affections there ?
Thy treasure hoard where thieves break through,
And where the moth corrupteth too ?
Riches take wings, and fly away,
Like all below—I would not slay.
" Fame !" What is fame ? Go, ask the one, Whose name was wafted on each breeze.