1 WHILE you in nature's works explore,
2 The wonders of almighty pow'r,
3 And, curious, Flora's works survey,
4 While by your native streams you stray;
5 From Fortha's banks to you I send
6 The warmest wishes of a friend.
7 Despise not then these humble lays,
8 A friend excites your partial praise.
9 A friend! — How the melodious name
10 With nameless rapture trills my frame!
11 What tho' the feeble muse detains
12 Your ardent thought from nobler strains?
13 Yet friendship's soft alluring joys
14 With secret charms inchant your eyes.
15 Now summer decks the russet plains:
16 How sweet, how fair the rural scenes! [Page 23]
17 Say, can the weak attempts of art,
18 Like nature, charm the glowing heart?
19 Can the coquet in dress how fair
20 With yonder lily's breast compare?
21 Such, — such, MENALCAS, were our themes,
22 While, by fair Glotta's lovely streams,
23 We oft prolong'd the pleasant walk,
24 By decent mirth and social talk:
25 Such were our themes, when we survey'd
26 New beauties in each length'ning mead.
27 When ev'ning clos'd the setting day,
28 How often did our footsteps stray
29 O'er the gay banks of silver Clyde,
30 Where Nature's native charms reside.
31 Oft-times in the enamell'd mead,
32 Or seated in a leafy shade,
33 Sweet poetry our senses charm'd,
34 And our imaginations warm'd;
35 What time in WILKIE'S flowing strains,
36 WILKIE the HOMER of our plains,
37 We view'd the fair Aetolian maid,
38 By love, by too fond love betray'd.
39 Love too did oft our speech employ,
40 Love the pure source of social joy:[Page 24]
41 Love — but what visions strike mine eyes!
42 What forms, what heav'nly forms arise?
43 AMMONIA here! — ah me! excuse
44 The sallies of a wanton muse,
45 That flies on fancy's wing away.
46 I cease, — I cease the empty lay.
47 Farewell, my friend. — Ye zephyrs bear
48 My wishes to MENALCAS' ear.