Tag Archives: friendship

Elizabeth Ryves, “Ode to Friendship”


“Ode to Friendship”


Fond LOVE, with all his winning wiles
Of tender looks and flattering smiles;
Of accents that might Juno charm,
Or Dian’s colder ear alarm;
No more shall play the tyrant’s part,                                                       5
No more shall lord it o’er my heart.

To Friendship (sweet benignant Power!)
I consecrate my humble bower,
My lute, my muse, my willing mind,
And fix her in my heart enshrin’d :                                                         10
She, Heaven-descended Queen! shall be
My tutelar Divinity.

Soft Peace descends to guard her reign
From anxious fear and jealous pain:
She no delusive hope displays,                                                                15
But calmly guides our tranquil days;
Refines our pleasure, soothes our care,
And gives the joys of Eden here.


3 accents “Language or words” (Johnson); Juno Ancient Roman deity, “chief goddess and female counterpart of Jupiter” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

4 Dian’s Ancient Roman deity, “the moon-goddess, patroness of virginity and of hunting” (OED).

8 bower “A vague poetic word for an idealized abode” (OED).

12 tutelar “Having the charge or guardianship of any person or thing” (Johnson).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1777), pp. 63-64.  [Google Books]

 Edited by Nargis Srejan

Mary Darwall, “Elegy on a much lamented Friend, Who died in Autumn, 1759”


“ELEGY on a much lamented Friend, Who died in Autumn, 1759”


Yet the dull Death-bell smites my trembling Ear;
Yet Fancy sickens o’er Fidelia’s Bier;
Ye weeping Muses, wake the mournful Lyre!
Ye Laughing Loves, and jocund Sports, retire!
Fantastic Mirth, and all the smiling Train                                                         5
Of fair Festivity, forsake the Plain!
While gloomy Grief, and ev’ry chearless Pow’r,
Throw darker Horrors o’er this Midnight Hour.
Vot’ries of Woe, your painful Dirges sing!
No more the Muse attunes the sprightly String.                                           10
All, all the Scenes of Joy and Beauty fly,
Clouds dim the Sun, and Tears bedew the Sky:
Fidelia’s Loss see Nature’s self bewail!
Weep in the Stream, and languish in the Gale!
No more the vocal Natives of the Grove                                                          15
Chear the dark Shades, or chant their Songs of Love.
No more the Shepherds pipe, the Virgins sing;
No More the Vales with various Echoes ring:
But pale, and sad, each rural Nymph appears,
With Locks neglected, Eyes be-dim’d with Tears.                                            20
Fidelia’s dead!” they cry, and all around –
Fidelia dead!” the cavern’d Rocks rebound.
Accept, dear Shade, this fondly streaming Tear,
That Friendship sheds on thy untimely Bier.
Ah! what did thy superior Worth avail?                                                            25
Still, still oppos’d by Fortune’s adverse Gale;
Thro’ Life aspers’d by Envy’s black’ning Breath,
Pursu’d by Malice to the Gates of Death;
There, only there the painful Scene was o’er,
All Wrongs forgot, and Anguish wept no more.                                               30
There cold, and peaceful, Fidelia sleeps;
No more with palid Care long Vigils keeps;
And there shall sleep, in equal Night inurn’d,
The Friend that lov’d her, and the Fool that scorn’d.
There, wrapt in Shade impervious, Newton lies;                                       35
There lifeless Lely’s Hand, and Myra’s Eyes;
There Thomson’s Harp forgets the moral Song,
Deaf Handel’s Ear, and silent Milton’s Tongue.
There ev’n this Heart, which melts to strains of Woe,
Shall cease to grieve, these streaming Eyes to flow:                                        40
This weary Clay, to Death’s cold Arms consign’d,
Shall give to kindred Skies th’ immortal Mind.


1 Death-bell  “A bell rung at a person’s death or funeral” (OED).

4 jocund  “Feeling, expressing, or communicating mirth or cheerfulness” (OED); Lyre  “A stringed instrument of the harp kind, used by the Greeks for accompanying song and recitation” (OED).

9 Vot’ries Devotees; Dirges  “A song sung at the burial of, or in commemoration of the dead” (OED).

13 bewail  “To wail over, to utter wailings or cries of sorrow over the dead” (OED).

18 Vales  Valleys.

19 Nymph  “Any of a class of semi-divine spirits, imagined as taking the form of a maiden inhabiting the sea, rivers, mountains, woods, trees, etc., and often portrayed in poetry as attendants on a particular god” (OED).

24 Bier  “The movable stand on which a corpse, whether in a coffin or not, is placed before burial; that on which it is carried to the grave” (OED).

33 inurn’d  “To put (the ashes of a cremated body) in an urn; hence transferred, to entomb, bury, inter”  (OED).

35 Newton  Sir Issac Newton (1642-1727), “English physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

36 Lely  Sir Peter Lely, (1618-1680), Dutch-born “Baroque portrait painter known for his Van Dyck-influenced likenesses of the mid-seventeenth century English aristocracy” (Encylopaedia Britannica); Myra  Likely a reference to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, “one of the most popular minor saints commemorated in the Eastern and Western churches and now traditionally associated with the festival of Christmas” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

37 Thomson  James Thomson, (1700-1748), Scottish poet, best known for his long poem, The Seasons; “An Ode on Aeolus’s Harp” is likely referenced in this line (Encylopaedia Britannica).

38 Handel  George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), “German-born composer of the late Baroque era, noted particularly for his operas, oratorios, and instrumental compositions” (Encylopaedia Britannica);  Milton  John Milton, (1608-1674), “poet, pamphleteer, and historian” (Encylopaedia Britannica).

Source: Original Poems on Several Occasions.  By Miss Whateley (London 1764), pp. 23-25. [Google Books]

Edited by Megan Mather

John Hoy, Junior, “Delia’s Farewel, An Elegy”




Once more, O Muses! ere you leave this grove,
Awake the strain, but sing in accents new:
DELIA no more attends the tale of love,
Such love as flows from DAMON or from you.

But tune to nobler themes the heav’nly lyre,                                        5
And, unreprov’d, the darling strain prolong;
Swell the big note with Friendship’s sacred fire,
Or sound in DELIA’s ear the moral song.

Alas! alas! Love’s subtle lurking flame,
Which feeble Reason never can control,                                       10
Kindles anew at DELIA’s long lov’d name,
And fills again, and warms my raptur’d soul.

In ev’ry tender tie to Friendship known,
In all the kind endearments Love affords,
How many years together we have grown,                                          15
Ye Muses know, and still your song records.

My song was DELIA’s praise when first I lov’d,
And DELIA listen’d to the tender strain;
Yes, DELIA listen’d! and my song approv’d,
Nor scorn’d the passion of a simple swain.                                   20

‘Twas DELIA’s love inspir’d the early song,
And kindled rapture in my infant breast:–
Alas! why could I not the strain prolong?
Ah! why has Heav’n forbid me to be blest?

Fond wish! I hop’d to call young DELIA mine;                                         25
But, ah! can wishes thwart eternal fate?
Would mortals regulate the deep design
Of Heav’n, presiding wisely o’er our state?

Now DELIA’s gone! and each dejected muse,
In sullen sounds, the absent nymph deplores:                                30
The sad remembrance of my loss renews,
Where ev’ry scene her memory restores.

Methinks I see her still in virgin charms —
Such as no more these faded eyes shall view;
Such as no more shall raise the soft alarms,                                            35
And Love’s sweet passion in my breast renew.

Can I forget those soft enchanting smiles?
Those cordial looks beam’d from the inmost soul?
Those gentle offices, and friendly toils,
With which she strove my sorrows to control?                                 40

How oft, O DELIA! has thy tender care
Giv’n to my sense of pain a kind relief?
How oft thy sympathy repress’d despair,
And wip’d the drops from my pale cheek of grief?

(Thy pity still I claim, for still ’tis dear,                                                         45
And Pity, sure, is due to misery!
Ah! shall one sigh, or shall one tender tear,
Be deem’d too much to DAMON’s memory?)

Oft as I watch’d the lonely midnight hour,
Each black idea fled when thou wast nigh :                                        50
No more I languish’d for the balmy pow’r;
And Night’s dull wheels roll’d swifter o’er the sky.

But now, alas! the melancholy scene
(How chang’d!) presents me with a dreary waste,
Save where my absent friend, by fancy seen,                                            55
Augments the horrors of my tortur’d breast.

I blame not DELIA:– DELIA’s soul was kind: —
‘Twas envious Fortune tore my love away: —
But still thou’rt here, and from my sadden’d mind
My DELIA’s image never shall decay.                                                   60

I saw what anguish swell’d her gentle breast,
What horrors shook her when she slow withdrew;
What load of grief her fainting voice supprest,
When Fate oblig’d her to pronounce,–Adieu !

Thrice o’er her face the waving crimson spread,                                        65
And thrice her visage chang’d to deadly pale;
Her speech forsook her when she wou’d have said,
“Farewel, ye groves! and, DAMON, O farewel!”

Ah! then, what anguish tore my bursting heart!
Scarce could my breast its tide of grief control,                                   70
When, beam’d tremendous, like a mortal dart,
Her parting look transfix’d me to the soul.

Less cruel pangs had pierc’d my wounded breast,
Had Fate’s dread mandate stopt thy vital breath;
Less had I griev’d to see my DELIA drest                                                       75
In all the sad and awful pomp of death.

I then a pleasing melancholy joy
Had felt, to wander near my DELIA’s tomb;
To press the turf where her dear dust should lie,
And tell my woes to Night’s surrounding gloom.                                 80

Quick Fancy, fir’d, should mount th’ etherial height,
And view the lovely maid, my DELIA there,
Array’d in robes for mortal eyes too bright,
Alive, immortal, more divinely fair!

But now I see the idol of my soul                                                                  85
For ever ravish’d from my longing arms,
Another’s joy to share, his griefs control; —
–Another’s raptures kindle at her charms!

My deep distresses all relief refuse:
Ev’n gentle STREPHON’s friendship is in vain,                                     90
Tho’ to his aid he call th’ inspiring muse,
And cheer his DAMON with the rural strain.

In vain, to soothe the troubles of my breast,
Fair Science opens all her copious store ;
Soft magic song no more can give me rest,                                                  95
And wit and genius charm my soul no more.

No more bold MILTON, on the car of morn,
Whirls my rapt soul above th’ etherial sphere,
Where fiery seraphs fierce for combat burn,
While front to front the shadowy hosts draw near.                            100

In vain great SHAKESPEARE, taught of Heav’n alone,
Unfolds the scene of Nature to my view: —
Fly! magic pictures! and, with DELIA gone,
Farewel the ecstasy which once I knew!

Perhaps the lenient hand of Time may ease                                               105
The lively sense of grief which now I feel,
That peace restore which makes ev’n sorrow please,
And wipes the gall from keen affliction’s steel.

If not, — should ev’ry other refuge fail,
O Death! thou still remain’st to give relief: —                                        110
In vain thy all-composing pow’rs assail
The frowns of Fortune, and the stings of grief.

To thee, O melancholy pow’r! I call;
To thee, with hasty steps, impatient fly: —
O grant a shelter in thy dusky hall,                                                                 115
To me the child of pain and misery!


1 Muses “In greek mythology each of the nine goddesses regarded as presiding over and inspiring learning and the arts, esp. poetry and music” (OED).

20 swain “A country gallant or lover” (OED).

51 balmy “Deliciously soft and soothing” (OED).

65 crimson “Of or relating to blood; sanguinary” (OED).

76 pomp “Splendid display or celebration; magnificent show or ceremony” (OED).

94 Science “Knowledge or understanding acquired by study; acquaintance with or mastery of any branch of learning” (OED).

97 No “Mo” emended to “No” (printer’s error); MILTON John Milton (1608–1674), poet and polemicist; the following lines in this stanza appear to reference Paradise Lost (1667).

99 seraphs Angels.

101 SHAKESPEARE, taught of Heav’n alone Shakespeare was considered a “natural genius” in this period, a notion popularized by Joseph Addison in Spectator no. 160 (1711).

SOURCE:  Poems on Various Subjects (Edinburgh, 1781), pp. 52-57. [Google Books]

Edited by Yesenia Rodriguez

Ann Yearsley, “To a Friend, on Valentine’s Day”


“To a Friend, on Valentine’s Day”


Tho’ blooming shepherds hail this day
With love, the subject of each lay,
Yet friendship tunes my artless song,
To thee the grateful themes belong.

STREPHON, I never will repine,                                                5
Tho’ desin’d not thy Valentine;
O’er friendship’s nobler heights we’ll rove,
Nor heed the soft’ning voice of love.

Strangers to Passion’s tyrant reign,
Careless, we’ll range the happier plain,                                  10
Where all those calmer joys we’ll prove,
Which wait sublime platonic love.

Yet I’ll allow a future day,
When friendship must at last give way;
When thou, forgetful, shalt resign                                             15
The maid who wrote this Valentine.

Think not, my friend, I dream of love ,
That with some happier maid thou’lt prove;
Friendship alone is my design
In this officious Valentine.                                                            20

Yet, when that victor God shall reign,
And conquer’d Friendship quits the plain,
This gentle whisperer captive take,
‘T will all they former kindness wake.

But if its pleadings you deny,                                                        25
And fain wou’d have remembrance die,
Then to devouring flames consign
My too ill-fated Valentine.


1 blooming “In the bloom of health and beauty, in the prime of youth” (OED).

5 STREPHON A typical male name used in pastoral poetry (Oxford Reference); repine “To feel or express discontent or dissatisfaction; to grumble, complain” (OED).

12 sublime “ perfect, consummate; supreme” (OED); platonic “ Of love, affection, or friendship: intimate and affectionate but not sexual; spiritual rather than physical” (OED).

26 fain “Gladly, willingly, with pleasure” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1786), p. 21.  [Google Books]

Edited by Katherine Lowden

Mary Darwall, “To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”


“To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”

My much belov’d, my gentle friend,
May ev’ry happiness attend
Thy health’s returning bloom;
May fell disease, and grief, and pain,
With all their dire afflictive train,                                                 5
No longer be thy doom.

Th’ autumnal sun now shines serene,
Rich Ceres beautifies each scene,
And plenty laughs around;
The woods, the hills, the vales look gay,                                  10
O! hither come, and every day
With rapture shall be crown’d.

Come, range with me the verdant lawn,
And hear the lark at early dawn
His sprightly matin trill;                                                        15
Or, with my little playful throng,
At eve enjoy the blackbird’s song,
Beside some gurgling rill.

But wheresoe’er my friend shall stray,
May peace and pleasure smooth her way,                               20
And health and fortune smile;
May love, with all his choicest flowr’s,
For thee adorn his myrtle bowr’s,
And all thy cares beguile.

May some gay youth, fond, kind, and true,                               25
My SYLVIA’s worthy heart subdue
To Hymen’s gentle pow’r;
Soft may the silken fetters prove,
Distrust or doubt ne’er chill your love,
But peace gild every hour!                                                    30


8 Ceres “The Roman goddess of the growth of food” (Britannica).

10 vales “A more or less extensive tract o f land lying between two ranges of hills” (OED).

14 lark “A name used generally for any bird of the Alaudidae family” (OED).

15 matin “The morning song of birds” (OED); trill “To utter or sing (a note, tune, etc.) with tremulous vibration of sound” (OED).

18 rill “Small stream; a brook; a rivulet” (OED).

23 myrtle bowr’s “Any various evergreen shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrtus” (OED).

27 Hymen “In Greek mythology, the god of marriage” (Britannica).

28 fetters “Chains for the legs” (Johnson).

30 gild “To cover entirely or partially with a thin layer of gold” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1794), pp. 26­-28. [ Google Books]

Edited by Sandy Karkar