The Contrast

I saw the fair one pass away,
In her earliest beauty's bright array,
In the glow of hope and the flush of pride,
And the innocent joy of a virgin bride,
When her heart, yet pure as the fallen snow,
Gave loose to its feelings' fullest flow,
And her cheek, as rich as the crimson flower
That opens in India's sunny bower,
Was hung with curls that danced and flew,
As the wind of the morning lightly blew,
And swelled the sail of the bark that bore
The bride from that loved and lovely shore.
O, thus in her maiden beauty gay
I saw that fair one pass away!

I saw that faded fair return
With heart as chill as a marble urn,
And cheek of as pale and wan a hue,
As a blossom wet by the poison dew,
That falls from the leaves of the funeral yew;
Her eye had lost its glancing fire,
Her cheek the glow of young desire,
And she gazed on the home of her tender years
With a look too cold for smiles or tears,
But a look that told how her peace had flown,
And how she was left in her grief alone.
Thus pale and still to the shore she drew,
As the wind of the morning lightly blew,
O, how unlike to the joyous day
When she passed in her beauty's pride away!
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