To John Johnston, Esq., On His Presenting Me With An Antique Bust Of Homer.

A poem by William Cowper

Kinsman beloved, and as a son, by me!
When I behold the fruit of thy regard,
The sculptured form of my old favourite bard,
I reverence feel for him, and love for thee:
Joy too and grief—much joy that there should be,
Wise men and learn’d, who grudge not to reward
With some applause my bold attempt and hard,
Which others scorn; critics by courtesy.
The grief is this, that, sunk in Homer’s mine,
I lose my precious years, now soon to fail,
Handling his gold, which, howsoe’er it shine,
Proves dross when balanced in the Christian scale.
Be wiser thou—like our forefather Donne,
Seek heavenly wealth, and work for God alone.

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