Friendship

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Date Submitted: 03/12/2011 07:48 PM

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FRIENDSHIP

A ruddy drop of manly blood

The surging sea outweighs,

The world uncertain comes and goes,

The lover rooted stays.

I fancied he was fled,

And, after many a year,

Glowed unexhausted kindliness

Like daily sunrise there.

My careful heart was free again, —

O friend, my bosom said,

Through thee alone the sky is arched,

Through thee the rose is red,

All things through thee take nobler form,

And look beyond the earth,

And is the mill-round of our fate

A sun-path in thy worth.

Me too thy nobleness has taught

To master my despair;

The fountains of my hidden life

Are through thy friendship fair.

We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Maugre all the selfishness that chills like east winds the world, the whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether. How many persons we meet in houses, whom we scarcely speak to, whom yet we honor, and who honor us! How many we see in the street, or sit with in church, whom, though silently, we warmly rejoice to be with! Read the language of these wandering eye-beams. The heart knoweth.

The effect of the indulgence of this human affection is a certain cordial exhilaration. In poetry, and in common speech, the emotions of benevolence and complacency which are felt towards others are likened to the material effects of fire; so swift, or much more swift, more active, more cheering, are these fine inward irradiations. From the highest degree of passionate love, to the lowest degree of good-will, they make the sweetness of life.

Our intellectual and active powers increase with our affection. The scholar sits down to write, and all his years of meditation do not furnish him with one good thought or happy expression; but it is necessary to write a letter to a friend, — and, forthwith, troops of gentle thoughts invest themselves, on every hand, with chosen words. See, in any house where virtue and self-respect abide, the palpitation which the approach of a stranger...

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