James Oswald
(1710 - 1769)

The world, my dear Myra
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Pub. 1758, titled Friendship. Written for performance at Ranelagh pleasure gardens and sung by Catherine (Kitty) Fourmantel.
Lyrics: Alexander Pope

The world, my dear Myra, is full of deceit,
And friendship's a jewel we seldom can meet;
How strange does it seem that, in searching around,
This source of content is so rare to be found?
O friendship, thou balm and rich sweet'ner of life,
Kind parent of ease and composer of strife,
Without thee, alas, what are riches and pow'r,
But empty delusions, the joys of an hour?

How much to be priz'd and esteemed is a friend,
On whom we can always with safety depend;
Our joys when extended will always increase,
And griefs when divided are hushed into peace.
When fortune is smiling, what crowds will appear,
Their kindness to offer, and friendship sincere;
Yet change but the prospect and point out distress,
No longer to court you they eagerly press.