To myself

Tell me myself & if thou canst tell true
What are thy merits & thy failings too
Art thou as some no doubt will think they know
An Idle being merely form’d for show
A trifling toy the plaything of the day
To flutter for a while then fade away
And yield the palm with a reluctant sigh
Whilst newer charms engage each gazers Eye
Say does thy Soul Contract its blunted rays
To live for Admiration & for praise
Say does thy bliss consist in being told
A Flattering tale - Worn out because ‘tis Old
Ah no my heart that friendship bids to glow
That feels each quick return of Joy or Woe
That blushing owns its texture’s form’d to prove
Each sanguine hope or anxious fear of Love
Tells thee nor will it e’er this thought disown
It was not form’d for Vanity alone

‘Tis true much folly may my faults enlarge
And ‘twould be falsehood to deny the charge
Yet Candour says & what she breathes is truth
Some folly ever was allied to youth
What if perhaps for prudence silent shore
Whose laws lustre experienc’d minds adore
Whose shrines are deck’d with never fading bays
Whose happy Virtues own a well earn’d praise
By pleasures gilded large & laughing band
When beckon’d to forsake the safer land
And tempt the glittering surface of the stream
I to the substance have preferred the dream
Sure to a heart that never meant a wrong
Some faint excuse - some reason may belong
Some faint excuse may lift its timid Voice
When Fashion-Folly more entrain than choice
When thoughtless Joy the rapid Course began
And giddy youth before the whirlwind ran.

Oft times I own amid the laughing anew
More seem’d like me the Fool to pursue
Yet oft times too in leisure’s silent grove
Where not a breeze can thro’ the branches move
Where thought seem’d graven on the spreading boughs
To reason’s throne my Soul has part’d its Vows
Tho guided by my feelings not by art
Folly & sense by turns have shar’d my heart
With rapture still to Virtue I attend
With Joy at friendships slowing alters-bend
And still my heart or urg’d by bliss or pain
Prompted by Reason’s or by pleasures reign
Whether in silence or in noise it moves
Still artless still exists for those it loves

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