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from what both he and she thought worse than death; namely, to preserve
her from violation; but though it may in some measure be excused, it
should not certainly be praised or admired.
ON LOOKING AT THE PICTURE OF A BEAUTIFUL FEMALE.
What dazzling beauties strike my ravish'd eyes,
And fill my soul with pleasure and surprise!
What blooming sweetness smiles upon that face!
How mild, yet how majestic every grace!
In those bright eyes what more than mimic fire
Benignly shines, and kindles gay desire!
Yet chasten'd modesty, fair white-robed dame,
Triumphant sits to check the rising flame.
Sure nature made thee her peculiar care:
Was ever form so exquisitely fair?
Yes, once there was a form thus heavenly bright,
But now 'tis veil'd in everlasting night;
Each glory which that lovely face could boast,
And every charm, in traceless dust is lost;
An unregarded heap of ruin lies
That form which lately drew ten thousand eyes.
What once was courted, lov'd, adored, and prais'd,
Now mingles with the dust from whence 'twas raised.
No more soft dimpling smiles those cheeks adorn,
Whose rosy tincture sham'd the rising morn;
No more with sparkling radiance shine those eyes,
Nor over those the sable arches rise;
Nor from those ruby lips soft accents flow,
Nor lilies on the snowy forehead blow;
All, all are cropp'd by death's impartial hand,
Charms could not bribe, nor beauty's power withstand;
Not all that crowd of wondrous charms could save
Their fair possessor from the dreary grave.
How frail is beauty, transient, false and vain!
It flies with morn, and ne'er returns again.
Death, cruel ravager, delights to prey
Upon the young, the lovely and the gay.
If death appear not, oft corroding pain,
With pining sickness in her languid train,
Blights youth's gay spring with some untimely blast,
And lays the blooming field of beauty waste;
But should these spare, still time creeps on apace,
And plucks with wither'd hand each winning grace;
The eyes, lips, cheeks, and bosom he disarms,
No art from him can shield exterior charms.
But would you, fair ones, be esteem'd, approved,
And with an everlasting ardor loved;
Would you in wrinkled age, admirers find,
In every female virtue dress the mind;
Adorn the heart, and teach the soul to charm,
And when the eyes no more the breast can warm,
These ever-blooming beauties shall inspire
Each gen'rous heart with friendship's sacred fire;
These charms shall neither wither, fade, nor fly;
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