A Warning.

A poem by Thomas Moore

TO .......


Oh, fair as heaven and chaste as light!
Did nature mould thee all so bright.
That thou shouldst e'er be brought to weep
O'er languid virtue's fatal sleep,
O'er shame extinguished, honor fled,
Peace lost, heart withered, feeling dead?

No, no! a star was born with thee,
Which sheds eternal purity.
Thou hast, within those sainted eyes,
So fair a transcript of the skies,
In lines of light such heavenly lore
That men should read them and adore.
Yet have I known a gentle maid
Whose mind and form were both arrayed
In nature's purest light, like thine;--
Who wore that clear, celestial sign
Which seems to mark the brow that's fair
For destiny's peculiar care;
Whose bosom, too, like Dian's own,
Was guarded by a sacred zone,
Where the bright gem of virtue shone;
Whose eyes had in their light a charm
Against all wrong and guile and harm.
Yet, hapless maid, in one sad hour
These spells have lost their guardian power;
The gem has been beguiled away;
Her eyes have lost their chastening ray;
The modest pride, the guiltless shame,
The smiles that from reflection came,
All, all have fled and left her mind
A faded monument behind;
The ruins of a once pure shrine,
No longer fit for guest divine,
Oh! 'twas a sight I wept to see--
Heaven keep the lost one's fate from thee!

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