On My Niece's Portrait

The lovely Nature's form and glass
A subtle thief by art has caught:
Before us in their shadows pass
The genial smile and graceful thought.

The heart of gold its lustre throws,
The eyes with soft affections beam;
Reflected is the living rose,
The new-born hope, and Fancy's dream.

But Poets have prophetic eyes,
The future is at their command;
Above the Painter they can rise,
For Time itself is in their hand.

Come, Artist! and the picture shade
With all the Winter's gloom of years!
Mark well the wreck that storms have made,
Nor hide the wrinkles or the tears!

Then shall the Angel's temper smile;
The heart its vernal glow shall feel;
The taste shall breathe its youthful style,
And Love the wings of Time shall steal.
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