Oh fair! oh purest! be thou the dove
That flies alone to some sunny grove,
And lives unseen, and bathes her wing,
All vestal white, in the limpid spring.
There, if the hovering hawk be near,
That limpid spring in its mirror clear
Reflects him ere he reach his prey
And warns the timorous bird away,
Be thou this dove;
Fairest, purest, be thou this dove,
The sacred pages of God's own book
Shall be the spring, the eternal brook,
In whose holy mirror, night and day,
Thou'lt study Heaven's reflected ray;--
And should the foes of virtue dare,
With gloomy wing, to seek thee there,
Thou wilt see how dark their shadows lie
Between Heaven and thee, and trembling fly!
Be thou that dove;
Fairest, purest, be thou that dove.