The poem original appeared in the book entitled, "The American Reader: Containing a Selection of Narration, Harrangues, Addresses, Orations, Dialogoues, Odes, Hymns, Poems &c, Designed for the Use of Schools: Together with a Short Introduction" by John Hubbard. This particular poem was found in the online digitized version of the second edition of the book that was published in 1820 Bellow Falls, VT, it is unknown if it also appeared in earlier editions, as at this time a digital copy of them does not exist.
Which Ruth Howland this was transcribed for is unknown, as there were numerous individuals with that name in New England in the early 1800s.
"Hail social converse! source of purest pleasure,
Sweet and reviving as the rosy morning,
When first the day- star gilds the face of Nature
With his blest Radiance.
Hale [sic] sacred friendship! fraught with choicest blessing,
When [sic] souls congenial tast [sic] they sacred union,
Bound by the cement of refin'd affection,
Founded on virtue.
If so called thy enlivening pleasure,
In those dull regions, how sublimely glorious
Are the bright mentions, where where Immortal friendship
blooms in full perfection."
Single page, double sided. Inscribed "to" on reverse. Measures 9" x 7 1/4" General wear. Minor stains. Minor tears along letter folds. Archival (?) tape repair on reverse.