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A Celebration of Friendship

A Celebration of Friendship

I may not be going too far out on a limb when I suggest that you have probably not heard the name Anna Laetitia Barbauld. For various reasons she has been largely forgotten by history, and this despite achieving a significant level of fame in the eighteenth century. Though at one time she was a source of inspiration to well-known poets like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, they later scorned and besmirched her. By the end of her life, her fame had diminished and her reputation declined.

Still, she left behind some wonderful poems including this sweet celebration of friendship. I trust that as you read it you will have the name of a friend come to your mind—a friend of whom you can say, “How blest the sacred tie that binds / In union sweet according minds!”

How blest the sacred tie that binds
In union sweet according minds!
How swift the heavenly course they run,
Whose hearts, whose faith, whose hopes are one!
To each, the soul of each how dear,
What jealous love, what holy fear!
How doth the generous flame within
Refine from earth and cleanse from sin!
Their streaming tears together flow
For human guilt and mortal woe;
Their ardent prayers together rise,
Like mingling flames in sacrifice.

Together both they seek the place
Where God reveals his awful face;
How high, how strong, their raptures swell,
There’s none but kindred souls can tell.
Nor shall the glowing flame expire
When nature droops her sickening fire;
Then shall they meet in realms above,
A heaven of joy—because of love.


  • A Celebration of Friendship

    A Celebration of Friendship

    I may not be going too far out on a limb when I suggest that you have probably not heard the name Anna Laetitia Barbauld. For various reasons she has been largely forgotten by history, and this despite achieving a significant level of fame in the eighteenth century. Though at one time she was a…

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