Sonnet, Addressed To William Hayley, Esq.

A poem by William Cowper

Hayley—thy tenderness fraternal shown
In our first interview, delightful guest!
To Mary, and me for her dear sake distress’d,
Such as it is, has made my heart thy own,
Though heedless now of new engagements grown;
For threescore winters make a wintry breast,
And I had purposed ne’er to go in quest
Of friendship more, except with God alone.
But thou hast won me; nor is God my foe,
Who, ere this last afflictive scene began,
Sent thee to mitigate the dreadful blow,
My brother, by whose sympathy I know
Thy true deserts infallibly to scan,
Not more to admire the bard than love the man.

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