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Affection dies a vernal flower;
And love the blossom of an hour;
The spring of fancy cares control,
And mar the beauty of the soul.
Versed in the commerce of deceit,
How soon the heart begins to beat!
The blood runs cold at interest's call :-
The look with equal eyes on all.
Then lovely nature is expellid,
And friendship is romantic held;
Then prudence comes with hundred eyes :-
The veil is rent: the vision flies.
The dear illusions will not last; The era of enchantment's past; The wild romance of life is done: The real history is begun. The sallies of the soul are o'er, The feast of fancy is no more; And ill the banquet is supplied By form, by gravity, by pride. Ye gods! whatever ye withhold, Let my affections ne'er grow old; Ne'er may the human glow depart, Nor nature yield to frigid art! Still may the generous bosom burn, Though doom'd to bleed o'er beauty's urn; And still the friendly face appear, Though moisten'd with a tender tear.
WHAT SHALL I BRING THEE, MOTHER?
“I require nothing of thee," said a mother to her innocent Bon, when bidding him farewell, “but that you will bring me back your present countenance."— Lavater.
“What shall I bring to thee, mother mine?
What shall I bring to thee?
Shall I bring thee jewels, that burn and shine
In the depths of the shadowy sea ?
Shall I bring the garland a hero wears,
By the wondering world entwined,
Whose leaves can cover a thousand cares,
And smile o'er a clouded mind?
Shall I bring the deep and sacred stores
Of knowledge, the high and free,
That thrills the heart on the hallow'd shores
Of classic Italy?"
“ What are jewels, my boy, to me?
Thou art the gem I prize!
And the richest spot in that fearful sea,
Will be where thy vessel Aies !
The wreath, the hero loves, is won,
By the life-blood of the brave,
And his brow must lose, ere it wear the crown, .
The smile that mercy gave!
Dearly earn'd is the volume's wealth,
That opes to the lamp at night,
While the fairer ray of hope and health
Goes out by the sickly light.
Bring me that innocent brow, my boy!
Bring me that shadowless eye!
Bring me the tone of tender joy,
That breathes in thy last good bye!”
ADVICE TO A LADY. THE counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear, Too roughly kind to please a lady's ear, Unlike the Aatteries of a lover's pen, Such truths as women seldom learn from men. Nor think I praise you ill, when thus I show What female vanity might fear to know. Some merit 's mine, to dare to be sincere; But greater yours, sincerity to bear. Hard is the fortune that your sex attends ; Women, like princes, find few real friends : All who approach them their own ends pursue ; Lovers and ministers are seldom true. Hence oft from reason heedless beauty strays, And the most trusted guide the most betrays: Hence, by fond dreams of fancied power amused, When most ye tyrannize, you're most abused What is your sex's earliest, latest care, Your heart's supreme ambition !—To be fair. For this the toilet every thought employs, Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys: For this hands, lips, and eyes, are put to school, And each instructed feature has its rule: And vet how few have learnt when this is given. Not to disgrace the partial boon of heaven! How few with all their pride of form can move ! How few are lovely, that are made for love! Do you, my fair, endeavour to possess An elegance of mind as well as dress; Be that your ornament, and know to please By graceful nature's unaffected ease. Nor make to dangerous wit a vain pretence, But wisely rest content with modest sense ; For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain, Too strong for feeble woman to sustain : Of those who claim it, more than half have none; And half of those who have it are undone.
Be still superior to your sex's arts,
Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts:
For you, the plainest is the wisest rule:
A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman's noblest station is retreat :
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight,
Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
To rougher man ambition's task resign:
"T is ours in senates or in courts to shine;
To labour for a sunk corrupted state,
Or dare the rage of envy and be great.
One only care your gentle breasts should move,
Th' important business of your life is love:
To this great point direct your constant aim,
This makes your happiness, and this your fame
Be never cool reserve with passion join'd;
With caution choose ; but then be fondly kind.
The selfish heart, that but by halves is given,
Shall find no place in love's delightful heaven;
Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless :
The virtue of a lover is excess.
A maid unmask'd may own a well-placed flame;
Not loving first, but loving wrong, is shame.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain,
Nor think that conquest justifies disdain.
Short is the period of insulting power:
Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour;
Soon will resume the empire which he gave,
And soon the tyrant shall become the slave.
Bless'd is the maid, and worthy to be blessid,
Whose soul, entire by him she loves possess'd,
Feels every vanity in fondness lost,
And asks no power but that of pleasing most:
Here is the bliss, in just return, to prove
The honest warmth of undissembled love;
For her, inconstant man might cease to range,
And gratitude forbid desire to change.
But, lest harsh care the lover's peace destroy,
And roughly blight the tender buds of joy,
Let reason teach what passion fain would hide,
That Hymen's bands by prudence should be tied:
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown,
If angry Fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flattering dream of bliss be o'er,
And cloy'd imagination cheat no more.
Then waking to the sense of lasting pain,
With mutual tears the nuptial couch they stain ;
And that fond love which should afford relief,
Does but increase the anguish of their grief:
While both could easier their own sorrows bear,
Than the sad knowledge of each other's care.
* * * * * * * *
E'en in the happiest choice, where favouring heaven
Has equal love and easy fortune given,
Think not, the husband gain'd, that all is done:
The prize of happiness must still be won: .
And oft, the careless find it to their cost,
The lover in the husband may be lost;
The Graces might alone his heart allure;
They and the Virtues meeting must secure.
Let e'en your prudence wear the pleasing dress •
Of care for him, and anxious tenderness.
From kind concern about his weal or woe,
Let each domestic duty seem to flow.
The household sceptre if he bids you bear,
Make it your pride his servant to appear :
Endearing thus the common acts of life,
The mistress still shall charm him in the wife:
And wrinkled age shall unobserved come on,
Before his eyes perceive one beauty gone :