Written in a Commonplace Book

called " THE BOOK OF FOLLIES ; "

IN WHICH EVERY ONE THAT OPENED IT WAS TO CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING

TO THE BOOK OF FOLLIES .

This tribute's from a wretched elf,
Who hails thee, emblem of himself.
The book of life, which I have traced,
Has been, like thee, a motley waste
Of follies scribbled o'er and o'er,
One folly bringing hundreds more.
Some have indeed been writ so neat,
In characters so fair, so sweet,
That those who judge not too severely,
Have said they loved such follies dearly!
Yet still, O book! the allusion stands;
For these were penned by female hands:
The rest — alas! I own the truth —
Have all been scribbled so uncouth
That Prudence, with a withering look,
Disdainful, flings away the book,
Like thine, its pages here and there
Have oft been stained with blots of care;
And sometimes hours of peace, I own,
Upon some fairer leaves have shone,
White as the snowings of that heaven
By which those hours of peace were given;
But now no longer — such, oh, such
The blast of Disappointment's touch! —
No longer now those hours appear;
Each leaf is sullied by a tear:
Blank, blank is every page with care,
Not even a folly brightens there.
Will they yet brighten? — never, never!
Then shut the book , O God, for ever!
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