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WRITTEN AFTER HAVING SEEN A LOVELY
Slight was her form, and graceful; as she pays'ds
Mine eye fell on her, and with quick surprize
Recoild; for the few garmorts that she wore,
Blew, torn on the cold wind, and scarcely cloth'd
The beauties they so sullied : o'er her neck
(Sicklied with primrose tint) her jetty locks
Fell rich but rudely, whilst her nournful eyes
Beam'd thro' a watery lustre. She was form d
In nature's kindliness; and tho' the roso
No longer melted in her cheek, nor blush'd
With deepen'd brilliance on her lip, yet still
Unnumber'd graces deck'd her, and look'd forth
At every feature thro' her rags there shone
The wreck of better days. « Alas !” said I,
(While my tears fell, and my looks follow'd her)
"Poor loveliness ! these charms which now attract
Passing attention, once, perchance, have grac'de
The 'social hearth, and o'er donestic joys
Cast a pare splendour :-haply, o'er thy face
Some aged Sire hath hung, and weakly deen'd
That treaven had given thee beauty, to be great:
And some fond, timid lover, thrilling shrunk
From thine eye's virtuous radiance, thinking still,
Himself too poor, to be thy virtue's meed.-
That beauty thus hath sunk thee, thus hath driv'n
Peace, Health, and innocence away, and left
The temple of thy God, thy spotless soul,
To be a brothel house for want and vice.
E’en whilst my tears drop o'er the expressive pairs
Which thy soft eyes are shooting, my chill'd heart
Shrinks from the wanton step, the asking mien.
0, would to God! that thou wert once again
Such as thou wert, while yet a stainless child !
Tho' it should be thy fate to beg thy bread,
And steep the hard-earn'd bit in bitter tears:
Tho'a poor wretched out-cast, thou should'st still
Hunger all day, and then at night repose
Cold on some lonely common; tho' no tongue
Should ever on thine ear, or aching heart,
Pour the warm tide of pity--still, O! still,
It would be better far to wander thus,
Than to remain the slave of selfish vice,
The victim of the passions. Ah ! thy reign
Hath been but brief; thy wondrous beauty's power
Hath fail'd, percbance, because thy heart retain'd
Strong memory of its virtue, and too oft
Cast clouds o'er thy spent spirits, and denied
The power, to deck with núirth each riot scene.
Unhappy girl! a female eye shall shed
Those tears for thee, which ought in drops of
To fall from thy seducer. Shame, O world!
That man thus privileged to ruin souls,
Shall rove about undaunted; whilst the wretch
Whom he hath made, must either die unseen,
Os plunge in deeper guilt, and fall for ever !"
Reasoning at every step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way, While meaner things, whom instinct leads,
Are rarely known to stray.
One silent eve, I wander'd late,
And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus address'd her mate,
And sooth'd the listning dove;
Our mutual bond of faith and truth
No time shall disengage,
Those blessings of our early youth
Shall cheer our latest age :
While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,
And mine can read them there;
Those ills that wait on all below,
Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt, and only so,
As being shared with thee.
When lightning's flash among the trees,
Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,
And know no other fear,
'Tis then I feel myself a wife,
And press thy wedded side, Resolv'd an union form’d for life
Death never shall divide.
But oh! if fickle and unchaste,
(Forgive a transient thought), Thou could'st become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot.
No need of lightening, from on, high,
Or kites with cruel beak; Denied the endearments of thine eye,
This widowed heart would breaka
Thus sung the sweet sequestered bird,
Soft as the passing wind, And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
I lately saw, what now I sing,
Fair Lucia's band display'd ; This finger grac'd a diamond ring,
On that a sparrow play'd.
The feather d play-thing she caressid,
She stroak’d its head and wings; And while it nestled on her breast,
She lisp'd the dearest things.
With chizzled bill a spark ill-set
He loosen'd from the rest,
And swallow'd down to grind his meat,
The easier to digest.
She seiz'd his bill with wild affright,
Her diamond to descry. 'Twas gone! she sicken'd at the sight,
Moaning her bird would die.
The tongue-ty'd knocker none might use,
The curtains none undraw,
The footmen went without their shoes,
The street was laid with straw.