Exquisite sterling, how it strikes my eye

and striking, blinds me with its tender gleam

and blinding, opens up my heart to try

to drink once more from that lifegiving stream


Oh friendship, tell me all has not been lost

my honest labors have not been been in vain

how could I wreck that which I valued most,

and how neglect repair my long-felt pain?


A letter, or a few well-rhymed lines?

Some token of sincerest high esteem?

What shall I offer so as to incline

your heart o’ercome resistance so extreme?


A baker’s dozen years my punishment?

Please now accept my offer to repent.