To Amoret, on Stella's Death

When Youth and Beauty in their shroud
Awaken a religious fear,
The King of Terrors cries aloud,
And claims the moralizing tear.

It is not helpless Nature's grief
That such a call from thee demands;
But Christian fear, that prompts relief,
And penance of the heart commands.

The dozing morn, the feasting night,
In Beauty's gay and wanton bower,
Doom, with a self-accuser's right,
The solitary culprit's hour.

Oh! check not sorrows bless'd as these
By Admonition's hallow'd rod!
Invoke distress, and fly from ease
To pain — the messenger from God!

It comes, with mercy on its wing,
To wounded hearts, that bleed with shame,
Reforms them with its penal sting,
And pierces only to reclaim .

Not ev'n, dear Amoret , in thee
Unclouded is the moral grace,
Nor is the heart from errors free
That glows on that ingenuous face.

What! hast thou never danc'd and sung,
With such impatience to excel,
That pride upon the accents hung,
And made the footstep move too well!

Has ornament with Beauty's hope
The toilette never discompos'd?
In Vanity's unbounded scope,
Till flattering smiles the tumult clos'd?

Has rival Spleen's envenom'd gale
Been foreign to the whispering tongue?
Has Envy never made thee pale
At her success whose knell is rung?

But, these aton'd, is nothing left
That chast'ning Sorrow can reprove?
Shall wasted hours, of good bereft,
Nor penance claim, nor follies prove?

Oh! hear again the Angel's voice
That in the dance " your soul requir'd ; "
And cried, " 'Tis impious to rejoice,
For Stella now has just expir'd. "
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