When the black-lettered list to the gods was presented,
The list of what fate for each mortal intends,
At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented,
And stepped in three blessings wife, children and friends.
In vain surly Pluto declared he was cheated,
And Justice devine could not compass her ends,
The scheme of mans penance he swore was defeated,
For earth becomes heaven with wife, children and friends.
If the stock of our bliss is in stranger lands rested,
The fund, ill secured, oft in bankruptcy ends,
But the heart issues bills, which are never protested,
When drawn on the firm of wife, family and friends.
The soldier whose deeds live immortal in story,
When duty to far distant latitudes sends,
With transport would barter whole ages of glory,
For one happy hour with wife, children and friends.
Though valor still glows in his life’s wanting embers,
The death wounded tar who his colors defends,
Drops a tear of regret, as he dying remembers,
How blessed was his home, with wife, children and friends.
Though the spice-breathing gale, over his caravan hovers,
Though around him Arabed’s whole fragrance descends,
The merchant will still thinks of the woodbins that covers,
The bower where he sat with wife, children and friends
The day-spring of youth, still unclouded with sorrow,
Atone on itself for enjoyment depends,
But dear is the twilight of age if it borrow,
No warmth from the smiles of wife, children and friends
Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish,
The laurel that over her fair favorites bends,
Over me wave the willow, and long may it flourish,
Redewed with the tears of wife, children and friends.
Let us drink, for my song growing graver and graver,
To subjects too solemn insensibly tends;
Let us drink, pledge me high, love ane virtue shall flavor,
The glass that we fill to wife, children and friends.
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The images and audio files contained in the "So Mote It Ever Be: The Folksong Heritage of North Carolina's Northern Blue Ridge Mountains" collection are available for free personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that proper citation is used (e.g. I. G. Greer/W. Amos Abrams Manuscript Files Series, Folksong Files Subseries, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Special Collections, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC). Any commercial use of the materials without the written permission of Appalachian State University is strictly prohibited. Please contact the Appalachian State University W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection with specific questions or with requests for further information.