FRIENDSHIP’s the greater bliss we mortals share,
It heightens pleasure, softens ev’ry care;
Expands the heart, each thought severe disarms,
And in the mind unfolds ten thousand charms.
How high in happiness the prospect stands,
Whene’er in Friendship’s strong, yet tender bands,
Two spirits kind in gentle union meet,
The bliss how great, how exquisitely sweet!
Self-love and envy to their souls unknown,
Each has an int’rest dearer than their own;
Their ev’ry joy a brighter aspect wears,
Their ev’ry grief, when told, straight disappears.
Or when, amid the varying turns of fate,
The mind bears some important secret’s weight;
On which the life, or life’s chief hopes depend,
It rests securely with the faithful friend.
Mutual esteem and love their actions guide,
And truth and justice o’er their hearts preside.
The gen’rous breast which ardent Friendship fires,
Each lib’ral, virtuous sentiment inspires.
Friendship the mind excites to noble deeds,
And to the path of spotless glory leads;
And when its object’s worthy of regard,
It will, like Virtue, prove its own reward.