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.