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"Twas her's to bid the troops engage,
And teach the battle where to rage.

And now the siren's armies press,
Their van was headed by Excess:
The mighty wings, that form'd the side,
Commanded by that giant Pride:
While Sickness, and her sisters Pain
And Poverty, the centre gain:
Repentance, with a brow severe,

And Death, were station'd in the rear.
Health rang'd her troops with matchless art,
And acted the defensive part:

Her army posted on a hill,

Plainly bespoke superior skill.

Hence were discover'd through the plain

The motions of the hostile train:

While Prudence, to prevent surprise,
Oft sallied with her trusty spies ;
Explor'd each ambuscade below,
And reconnoitred well the foe.
Afar when Luxury descried
Inferior force by art supplied,

The siren spake-' Let fraud prevail,
Since all my numerous hosts must fail;
Henceforth hostilities shall cease,

I'll send to Health and offer peace.'

Straight she dispatch'd, with powers complete, Pleasure, her minister, to treat.

This wicked strumpet top'd her part,

And sow'd sedition in the heart!
Through every troop the poison ran,
All were infected-to a man.
The wary generals were won

By Pleasure's wiles, and both undone.
Jove held the troops in high disgrace,
And bad diseases blast their race;
Loo!'d on the queen with melting eyes,
And snatch'd his darling to the skies:
Who still regards those wiser few,
That dare her dictates to pursue.
For where her stricter law prevails,
Though Passion prompts, or Vice assails;
Long shall the cloudless skies behold,
And their calm sun-set beam with gold.




As duteous to the place of prayer,
Within the convent's lonely walls,
The holy sisters still repair,

What time the rosy morning calls:

So fair, each morn, so full of grace,
Within their little garden rear'd,

The flower of Phoebus turn'd her face
To meet the power she lov'd and fear'd.

And where, along the rising sky,

Her god in brighter glory burn'd,

Still there her fond observant eye,

And there her golden breast she turn'd.

When calling from their weary height
On western waves his beams to rest,
Still there she sought the parting sight,
And there she turn'd her golden breast,

But soon as night's invidious shade
Afar his lovely looks had borne,
With folded leaves and drooping head,
Full sore she griev'd, as one forlorn.

Such duty in a flower display'd
The holy sisters smil'd to see,
For gave the pagan rites it paid,
And lov'd its fond idolatry.

But painful still, though meant for kind, The praise that falls on Envy's ear! O'er the dim window's arch-entwin'd, The canker'd Ivy chanc'd to hear.

And 'see (she cried) that specious flower, Whose flattering bosom courts the sun, The pageant of a gilded hour,

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The convent's simple hearts hath won!

Obsequious meanness! ever prone To watch the patron's turning eye; No will, no motion of its own!

'Tis this they love, for this they sigh:

'Go, splendid sycophant! no more
Display thy soft seductive arts!
The flattering clime of courts explore,
Nor spoil the convent's simple hearts.

'To me their praise more justly due,

Of longer bloom, and happier grace! Whom changing months unalter'd view, And find them in my fond embrace.'

How well (the modest flower replied)
Can Envy's wrested eye elude
The obvious bounds that still divide
Foul Flattery from fair Gratitude.

My duteous praise each hour I pay, For few the hours that I must live; And give to him my little day,

Whose grace another day may give.

'When low this golden form shall fall,
And spread with dust its parent plain,
That dust shall hear his genial call,
And rise, to glory rise again.

To thee, my gracious power, to thee My love, my heart, my life are due! Thy goodness gave that life to be;

Thy goodness shall that life renew.

Ah me! one moment from thy sight

That thus my truant-eye should stray! The god of glory sets in night!

His faithless flower has lost a day.'

Sore griev'd the flower, and droop'd her head, And sudden tears her breast bedew'd: Consenting tears the sisters shed,

And, wrapt in holy wonder, view'd.

With joy, with pious pride elate,
• Behold (the aged abbess cries)
An emblem of that happier fate

Which Heaven to all but us denies.

'Our hearts no fears but duteous fears, No charm but duty's charm can move; We shed no tears but holy tears

Of tender penitence and love.

'See there the envious world portray'd
In that dark look, that creeping pace!
No flower can bear the Ivy's shade;
No tree support its cold embrace.

The oak that rears it from the ground, And bears its tendrils to the skies, Feels at his heart the rankling wound, And in its poisonous arms he dies.'

Her moral thus the matron read,
Studious to teach her children dear,

And they by love, or duty led,

With pleasure heard, or seem'd to hear.

Yet one less duteous, not less fair,

(In convents still the tale is known)

The fable heard with silent care,

But found a moral of her own.

The flower that smil'd along the day,
And droop'd in tears at evening's fall;

Too well she found her life display,
Too well her fatal lot recall.

The treacherous Ivy's gloomy shade,
That murder'd what it most embrac'd,
Too well that cruel scene convey'd

Which all her fairer hopes effac'd.

Her heart with silent horror sbook;
With sighs she sought her lonely cell :
To the dim light she cast one look;
And bade once more the world farewell.



In this dim cave a Druid sleeps,

Where stops the passing gale to moan;

The rock he hollow'd o'er him weeps,
And cold drops wear the fretted stone.

In this dim cave, of different creed,
An hermit's holy ashes rest;
The school-boy finds the frequent bead,
Which many a formal matin blest.

That truant-time full well I know,
When here I brought, in stolen hour,
The Druid's magic Misletoe,

The holy hermit's Passion-flower.

The offerings on the mystic stone

Pensive I laid, in thought profound, When from the cave a deepening groan Issued, and froze me to the ground.

I hear it still-Dost thou not hear?
Does not thy haunted fancy start?
The sound still vibrates through mine ear--
The horror rushes on my heart.

Unlike to living sounds it came,

Unmix'd, unmelodiz'd with breath;
But grinding through some scrannel frame,
Creak'd from the bony lungs of Death.

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