Sonnet LXIX. To A Young Lady, Purposing To Marry A Man Of Immoral Character In The Hope Of His Reformation.

A poem by Anna Seward

Time, and thy charms, thou fanciest will redeem
Yon aweless Libertine from rooted vice.
Misleading thought! has he not paid the price,
His taste for virtue? - Ah, the sensual stream
Has flow'd too long. - What charms can so entice,
What frequent guilt so pall, as not to shame
The rash belief, presumptuous and unwise,
That crimes habitual will forsake the Frame? -
[1]Thus, on the river's bank, in fabled lore,
The Rustic stands; sees the stream swiftly go,
And thinks he soon shall find the gulph below
A channel dry, which he may safe pass o'er. -
Vain hope! - it flows - and flows - and yet will flow,
Volume decreaseless, to the FINAL HOUR.

1:

"Rusticus exspectat dum defluit amnis: at ille Labitur, et labetur in omne volubilis ævum." HORACE.

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