Friendship to every willing mind

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General information

This is an American song, apparently written by "Bidwell" and first published in 1789.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

American Musical Miscellany, 1798


1. Friendship to every willing mind
Opens a heavenly treasure,
There may the sons of sorrow find
Sources of real pleasure:
See what employments men pursue,
Then you will own my words are true,
Friendship alone unfolds to view
Sources of real pleasure.

2. Poor are the joys that fools esteem,
Fading and transitory;
Mirth is as fleeting as a dream.
Or a delusive story:
Luxury leaves a sting behind
Wounding the body and the mind,
Only in friendship can we find
Pleasure and solid glory.

3. Learning, that boasting, glittering thing.
Scarcely is worth possessing;
Riches, forever on the wing,
Scarce can be called a blessing:
Fame like a shadow flies away,
Titles and dignity decay,
Nothing but friendship can display
Joys that are freed from trouble.

4. Beauty with all its gaudy show,
Is but a painted bubble:
Short is the triumph wit bestow,
Full of deceit and trouble :
Sensual pleasure swells desire.
Just as the fuel feeds the fire,
Friendship can real bliss inspire
Bliss that is worth possessing.

5. Happy the man who hath a friend
Formed by the God of nature,
Well may he feel and recommend
Friendship for his Creator.
Then may our hearts in friendship join
To let our social powers combine,
Ruled by a passion most divine,
Friendship to our Creator.

 

Southern and Western Songster, 1836


1. Friendship to every willing mind,
Opens a heavenly treasure;
There may the sons of sorrow find,
Sources of real pleasure.
See what employment men pursue,
Then you will own my words are true
Friendship alone unfolds to view,
Sources of real pleasure.

2. Poor are the joys which fools esteem,
Fading and transitory;
Mirth is as fleeting as a dream,
Or a delusive story;
Luxury leaves a sting behind,
Wounding the body and the mind;
Only in friendship can we find,
Pleasure and solid glory.

3. Beauty, with all its gaudy shows,
Is but a painted bubble;
Short is the triumph wit bestows,
Full of deceit and trouble.
Fame, like a shadow, flies away;
Titles and dignities decay;
Nothing but friendship can display,
Joys that are free from trouble.

4. Learning (that boasting, glittering thing)
Scarcely is worth possessing;
Riches, for ever, on the wing,
Cannot be called a blessing.
Sensual pleasures swell desire,
Just as the fuel feeds the fire,
Friendship can real bliss inspire,
Bliss that is worth possessing.

5. Happy the man who has a friend,
Formed by the God of nature;
Well may he feel and recommend
Friendship for his Creator.
Then as our hands in friendship join,
So let our social powers combine,
Ruled by a passion most divine,
Friendship with our Creator.

 

William Walker, Southern and Western Pocket Harmonist, 1860

1. Friendship to every willing mind,
Opens a heavenly treasure;
There may the sons of sorrow find
Sources of real pleasure.
See what employments men pursue,
Then you will own my words are true,
Friendship alone unfolds to view
Sources of real pleasure.

2. Poor are the joys that fools esteem,
Fading and transitory;
Mirth is as fleeting, as a dream
Or a delusive story;
Luxury leaves a sting behind,
Wounding the body and the mind;
Only in friendship can we find,
Pleasure and solid glory.

3. Learning, that boasting glittering thing,
Is but just worth possessing;
Riches, forever on the wing,
Scarce can be called a blessing:
Fame, like a shadow flies away,
Titles and dignity decay;
Nothing but friendship can display
Joys that are freed from trouble.

4. Beauty, with all its gaudy shows,
Is but a painted bubble:
Short is the triumph wit bestows,
Full of deceit and trouble :
Sensual pleasures swell desire.
Just as the fuel feeds the fire –
Friendship can real bliss inspire
Bliss that is worth possessing.

5. Happy the man who hath a friend,
Formed by the God of nature;
Well may he feel and recommend
Friendship for his Creator.
Then as our hearts in friendship join,
To let our social powers combine,
Ruled by a passion most divine,
Friendship to our Creator.

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