My merry friend, your balls are wound;|
And glad I'll be, if they can bound
As light and brisk as you.
Some thoughts, the ravelings of my brain,
Which here I've wrought into a skein,
Ask your acceptance too.
Mid baubles that attract mankind,
We oft some sober hint may find,
Our reason to employ.
To those who view the world aright,
There may arise a moral light
E'en from the merest toy.
These balls, so round and smooth and new,
Have much within them, hid from view,
That's worthless, when alone.
How like is this to many a wight
Whose charms would vanish from the sight,
Could but his heart be shown!
Yet, if our thought again we turn,
An emblem here we may discern
Of what's oft seen on earth:
For, e'en the vicious and the loose
May still be found to have their use,
When awed by solid worth.
What are those forms, so neat and light,
Of dazzling hues and purest white,
That grace your annual fair?
They're shreds, and patches, and odd ends,
The useless rubbish each one sends,
Dispos'd with taste and care.
How much that meets our ears and eyes,
Of what the world calls great and wise,
Is like that showy scene!
Could we but view the secret springs
Of many fair and specious things,
How chang'd would be their mien!
And yet again, we there are taught
The powerful sway that mind and thought
O'er senseless matter hold;
How genius can, with plastic hand,
In all we see some worth command,
Or hidden charm unfold.
May you and each industrious maid
Whose skillful hands have lent their aid
To deck the fairy show,
Be deep impress'd by your own work
How much that's false and weak may lurk
Where brightest colours glow.
May your affections there incline
Where native worth and virtue shine
Unchang'd by specious art;
Where all is natural, frank, and kind;
Where Truth's all-piercing eye would find
A sound and loyal heart.