Who is the Maid my spirit seeks,
Thro' cold reproof and slander's blight?
Has she Love's roses on her cheeks?
Is hers an eye of this world's light?
No--wan and sunk with midnight prayer
Are the pale looks of her I love;
Or if at times a light be there,
Its beam is kindled from above.
I chose not her, my heart's elect,
From those who seek their Maker's shrine
In gems and garlands proudly decked,
As if themselves were things divine.
No--Heaven but faintly warms the breast
That beats beneath a broidered veil;
And she who comes in glittering vest
To mourn her frailty, still is frail.
Not so the faded form I prize
And love, because its bloom is gone;
The glory in those sainted eyes
Is all the grace her brow puts on.
And ne'er was Beauty's dawn so bright,
So touching as that form's decay,
Which, like the altar's trembling light,
In holy lustre wastes away.