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Are there no offerings to atone For but a single error ?
Tho' woman is avow
ow'd, of old,
No daughter of celestial mold,
Her temp'ring not without allay,
And form'd but of the finer clay,
We challenge, from the mortal dame,
The strength angelic natures claim;
Nay more ; for sacred ftories tell,
That ev'n immortal angels fell.
Whatever fills the teeming sphere
Of humid carth, and ambient air,
With varying elements endu'd,
Was form'd to fall, and sise renew'd..
The ftars no fx'd duration know,
Wide oceans ebb, again to flow,
The moon repletes her waining face, ,
All-beauteous, from her late disgrace,
And suns, that mourn approaching night,,
Refulgent rise with new-born light.
In vain may Death and Time subdue,, While Nature mints her race anew, And holds some vital spark apart, Like virtue, hid in ev'ry heart; 'Tis hence reviving warmth is seen, To cloathe a naked world in green. , No longer barr'd by winter's cold, Again the gates of life unfold; Again each infect tries his wing, And lifts fresh pinions on the spring;
Again, from ev'ry latent root,
The bladed stem and tendril Moot,
Exhaling incense to the skies;
Again to perish, and to rise.
And must weak woman, then, disown
The change, to which a world is prone?
In one meridian brightness shine,
And ne'er, like evening suns, decline?
Resolv’d. and firm alone ? - Is this
What we demand of woman? Yes.
But, should the spark of vestal fire,
In fome unguarded hour, expire,
Or, should the nightly thief invade
Hesperia's chaste and sacred fhade,
Of all the blooming spoil possess d,
The dragon Honour charm’d.to rest,
Shall Virtue's flame no more return ?
No more with virgin splendor burn?.;.
No more the ravag'd garden blow
With Spring's fucceeding blossom :-No..
Pity may mourn, but not restore ;
And woman falls, to rise no more.
Within this sublunary sphere,
A country lies No matter where ;;
The clime may readily be found.
By all, who tread poetic ground.
A ftream, call'd Life, across it glides,
And equally the land divides;
And here, of Vice the province lies,
And there, the hills of Virtue rise.
Upon a mountain's airy stand,
Whose summit look’d to either land,
An antient pair their dwelling chose,
As well for prospect as repose ;
For mutual faith they long were fam’d,
And Temp'rance, and Religion, nam'd.
A num'rous progeny divine,
Confess'd the honours of their line ;
But in a little daughter fair,
Was center'd more than half their care;
For Heav’n, to gratulate her birth,
Gave signs of future joy to earth;
White was the robe this infant wore,
And Chastity the name she bore.
As now the maid in ftature grew,
(A flow'r juft op'ning to the view)
Oft thro' her native lawns the stray'd,
And, wrestling with the lambkins, play'd;
Her looks diffufive sweets bequeath'd,
The breeze grew purer as the breath’d,
The morn her radiant blush assum'd,
The spring with earlier fragrance bloom'd;
And Nature, yearly, took delight,
Like her, to dress the world in white.
But, when her rising form was seen:
To reach the crisis of fifteen,
Her parents up
the mountain's head,
With anxious step their darling led;
By turns they snatch'd her to their breaft,
And thus the fears of age express’d.
O joyful cause of many a care!
O daughter, too divinely fair!
Yon world, on this important day,
Demands thee to a dang'rous way;
A painful journey all must go,
Whose doubtful period none can know,
Whose due direction who can find,
Where Reason's mute, and Sense is blind ?
Ah, what unequal leaders these,
Thro' such a wide, perplexing maze!
Then mark the warnings of the wise,
And learn what love and
Far to the right thy prospect bend,
Where yonder tow'ring hills afcend ;
Lo, there, the arduous paths in view,
Which Virtue and her fons pursue ;
With toil o'er lessening earth they rife,
And gain, and gain upon the skies.
Narrow's the way her children tread,
No walk for pleasure smoothly spread,
But rough, and difficult, and steep,
Painful to climb, and hard to keep.
Fruits immature those lands dispense,
A food indelicate to fense,
Of tafte unpleasant ; yet, from thofe,
Pure health, with chearful vigour, Aows,
And strength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long, laborious way.
Hence, as they scale that heav'nly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;
From earth refining still they go,
And leave the mortal weight below;
Then spreads the strait, the doubtful clears,
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease,
And, taught by virtue, pain can please..
At length, the toilfome journey o'er,
And near the bright, celestial shore,
A gulph, black, fearful, and profound,
Appears, of either world the bound,
Thro' darkness leading up to light ;
Sense backward shrinks, and shuns the sight ;;
For there the transitory train,
Of time, and form, and care, and pain,
And matter's gross incumb'ring mass,
Man's late associates, cannot pass,
But, sinking, quit th' immortal charge,
And leave the wond'ring foul at larges;
Lightly she wings her obvious way,
And mingles with eternal day.
Thither, O thither wing thy speed,
Though pleasure charm, or pain impede;
To such th' all-bounteous pow'r has giv'ng,
For present earth, a future Heav'n ;
For trivial loss, unmeasur'd gain,
And endless bliss, for tranfient pain.
Then fear, ah! fear to turn thy sight:
Where yonder flow'ry fields invite;
Wide on the left the path-way bends,,
And with pernicious eale descends;