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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
540. Inscription to Chloris
 
 
  Written on the blank leaf of a copy of the last edition of my poems, presented to the Lady whom, in so many fictitious reveries of passion, but with the most ardent sentiments of real friendship, I have so often sung under the name of—“Chloris.”
 
 
’TIS Friendship’s pledge, my young, fair Friend,
  Nor thou the gift refuse,
Nor with unwilling ear attend
  The moralising Muse.
 
Since thou, in all thy youth and charms,        5
  Must bid the world adieu,
(A world ’gainst Peace in constant arms)
  To join the Friendly Few.
 
Since, thy gay morn of life o’ercast,
  Chill came the tempest’s lour;        10
(And ne’er Misfortune’s eastern blast
  Did nip a fairer flower.)
 
Since life’s gay scenes must charm no more,
  Still much is left behind,
Still nobler wealth hast thou in store—        15
  The comforts of the mind!
 
Thine is the self-approving glow,
  Of conscious Honour’s part;
And (dearest gift of Heaven below)
  Thine Friendship’s truest heart.        20
 
The joys refin’d of Sense and Taste,
  With every Muse to rove:
And doubly were the Poet blest,
  These joys could he improve.
R.B.
 

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