To my Niece, in Her Teens

Oh , Fanny! could my heart suspect
That Age thy feelings would correct,
Would make thee cold and wise; —
I 'd wish — that, ere the doom were past,
The day before it — were the last
That open'd Fanny's eyes.

But Nature smiles — and blames the fear
That she can ever disappear,
By Innocence caress'd:
Her beam is like the parting ray
That gilds the shadows of the day,
And crowns the bed of rest .

The genial spirit, Fancy's child,
So brightly gay, and sweetly wild,
Abjures the touch of Art.
It is the Evergreen of Youth,
Unfading as the light of Truth,
And planted in the heart.
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