Poetical recreations consisting of original poems, songs, odes, &c. with several new translations : in two parts
Barker, Jane.
Page  65

To my Unkind Friend, Little Tom King.

I.
WEll, by experience now I see,
This World's made up of flattery,
Complements and formality;
Since nought but int'rest now can bind
Ev'n old acquaintance to be kind.
'Twere madness then to hope to find
True Friendship in the Modern Crew
Of late-contracted Friends.
Hence then acquaintance all adieu,
I can't oblige my Friendship to pursue
Such dull insipid ends,
As nought but to a Ceremony tends.
Since Friendship from old Friends is flown,
Rather than endure the pratlings,
The flatteries and the censurings,
Page  66Which a Modish Friendship brings,
My pensive Dove shall sit and coo alone.
II.
But perhaps it will be said,
Unlucky Business has this mischief made:
Business, that plausible excuse
Of all unkindness to a Friend,
That Bankrupt, that ne'er pays Principle nor Use,
Of all the Time that e'er we to him lend.
Yet Bus'ness now's a Merchant of such Fame,
That he has got the whole Monopoly
Of Time, Love, Friends, and Liberty;
Of which, if there be scarcity,
Bus'ness is to blame;
For nought can vended be, but in his Name.
III.
Since then the World's so much to Bus'ness proe,
'Tis time that idle I was gone:
Page  67Alas, why do I stay,
VVhen that canker bus'ness (which I hate)
VVith Int'rest is confederate,
Eats our pleasant shady Friends away?
VVe're left obnoxious to the storms of Fate;
Nay ev'n then the hottest Gleams
Of Prosperities brightest Beams,
Help but to make us dwindle and decay.
And though we strive our selves to shade
Under the closest Rules of Constancy;
Yet when the Powers of Fate invade,
That too, alas, will shake and fade,
And make us see,
That though our best Ambition strives
To keep a reg'lar harmony:
Yet Fate will ring her Changes on our Lives,
Till discordant Death arrives;
VVho informs us by his latest Knell,
Whether we have made up this World's Consort well.
Page  68IV.
Hence I'll not murmur then,
Though some grow Proud, and others really Great
Or heap up Riches by deceit,
Since they must pay it all again
To Death, who rapaciously devours
All, for which we drudge in vain,
And sell our ease for fruitless pain:
All which we like mistaken fools call ours,
Whilst in some lazie Solitude may I
Enjoy my self alone,
Free from this VVorld's buzzing frantick feuds,
And sweets and stings of Fate's Vicissitudes,
Have nothing else to do but dye.
I care not who esteems me as a Drone,
For out o'th' World so secretly I'll steal,
That babbling Fame shall not the theft reveal;
And when I to my long repose am gone,
My dearest Brother, who is gone before,
Half way will meet me in the Air, or more;
Page  69Where we'll be happy in Excess,
In Mansions of Eternal blessedness.
Yet if there can be
Any allay of this felicity;
It will be this, when he shall find,
That I no other news can bring,
From his Old Friend, my Little King,
But that he was unkind.