To Mrs. Cath. and Mrs. Joyce P —

IF " pouts in love can love renew, "
December clos'd with not a few;
This opening year dispels them all,
And Youth returns at Friendship's call,
The bile has left its Milbourne shed,
And left no terror as it fled;
Joyce has no swimmings in the head,
And Kate an Elzevir has read.
The memory its tear forgets,
And she has bury'd all regrets ;
And can at will her joy revive,
Till beaux and flirts in troops arrive.
A summer's beam in Autumn glows,
Age is in colours like the rose ;
And Friendship met me on the way,
Coquetting thus with New-year's day :
" When this young century was come,
The last resign'd its annual sum,
And at the peeping light of morn,
You and your friends again were born.
" You are eleven years of age,
And wild as birds that broke the cage;
No romping girls like Joyce and Kate ,
Unless at school when pair'd in state.
" At Blindman's Buff their fame is known;
At slipper-hunting they 're your own:
Dear innocents! no harm they mean,
If kiss'd, or kissing, they are seen.
" But years will come, and joy will fly;
You 'll be a rake , when they are sly :
At present it 's the first of May ,
And you as vernal as the day. "
I took the Sibyl at her word,
And found the note of Time absurd;
Across my favourite green I ran ,
Without a pain that whisper'd man .
My nice young flirts, you must not flinch
At every tumble, or a pinch:
Eleven should have careless feet —
'Tis not of age to be discreet.
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