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“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 grieved the flower, and drooped her head;
And sudden tears her breast bedewed: Consenting tears the sisters shed,
And, wrapt in holy wonder, viewed.
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 pourtrayed
“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 seemed 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 smiled 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 murdered what it most embraced, Too well that cruel scene conveyed
Which all her fairer hopes effaced.
Her heart with silent horror shook;
With sighs she sought her lonely cell: To the dim light she cast one look:
And bade once more the world farewell.