Sweet friend, the world, like some fair infant blessed,
Radiant with sportive grace, around thee plays;
Yet 'tis not as depicted in thy breast--
Not as within thy soul's fair glass, its rays
Are mirrored. The respectful fealty
That my heart's nobleness hath won for thee,
The miracles thou workest everywhere,
The charms thy being to this life first lent,--
To it, mere charms to reckon thou'rt content,
To us, they seem humanity so fair.
The witchery sweet of ne'er-polluted youth,
The talisman of innocence and truth--
Him I would see, who these to scorn can dare!
Thou revellest joyously in telling o'er
The blooming flowers that round thy path are strown,--
The glad, whom thou hast made so evermore,--
The souls that thou hast conquered for thine own.
In thy deceit so blissful be thou glad!
Ne'er let a waking disenchantment sad
Hurl thee despairing from thy dream's proud flight!
Like the fair flowerets that thy beds perfume,
Observe them, but ne'er touch them as they bloom,--
Plant them, but only for the distant sight.
Created only to enchant the eye,
In faded beauty at thy feet they'll lie,
The nearer thee, the nearer their long night!