Addressed to Francis Greenleaf Allinson of Burlington, New Jersey.You scarcely need my tardy thanks,
Who, self-rewarded, nurse and tend–
A green leaf on your own Green Banks—
The memory of your friend.
For me, no wreath, bloom-woven, hides
The sobered brow and lessening hair:
For aught I know, the myrtled sides
Of Helicon are bare.
Their scallop-shells so many bring
The fabled founts of song to try,
They've drained, for aught I know, the spring
Of Aganippe dry.
Ah well!—The wreath the Muses braid
Proves often Folly's cap and bell;
Methinks, my ample beaver's shade
May serve my turn as well.
Let Love's and Friendship's tender debt
Be paid by those I love in life.
Why should the unborn critic whet
For me his scalping-knife?
Why should the stranger peer and pry
One's vacant house of life about,