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"Twas her's to bid the troops engage,
And now the siren's armies press,
And Death, were station'd in the rear.
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,
The siren spake-' Let fraud prevail,
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!
By Pleasure's wiles, and both undone.
THE SUNFLOWER AND THE IVY.
As duteous to the place of prayer,
What time the rosy morning calls:
So fair, each morn, so full of grace,
The flower of Phoebus turn'd her face
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
But soon as night's invidious shade
Such duty in a flower display'd
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,
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
'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)
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,
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,
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
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,
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,
Too well she found her life display,
The treacherous Ivy's gloomy shade,
Which all her fairer hopes effac'd.
Her heart with silent horror sbook;
THE MISLETOE AND THE PASSION-FLOWER.
In this dim cave a Druid sleeps,
Where stops the passing gale to moan;
The rock he hollow'd o'er him weeps,
In this dim cave, of different creed,
That truant-time full well I know,
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?
Unlike to living sounds it came,
Unmix'd, unmelodiz'd with breath;