We have a body, — and its clamorous calls

We have a body, — and its clamorous calls
And appetites importunate demand
The service of our nobler part, the soul.
O, how I long to throw this garment off,
Which burdens me with flesh, which dims the light
That else had shone so brilliantly, and moved
With such a lofty grandeur through the fields
Of intellect and fancy! Had not sense
Inthralled me in my childhood, ere the bud
Had opened to the influence of Heaven
And hope and love and beauty, had no worm
Crept to the core, and nested and consumed
The heart within, while all without was fair,
Until it slowly withered, and the bloom
Of youth was changed to paleness, where the hand
Of death had set its seal, and ruin traced
Its mark indelible, I now had walked
With front erect beneath the argent shield
Of conscious rectitude, despising wealth
And pomp and power and pride, and trampling down
Vice, though she came in all the outward charms
Of paradisal houris, or in folds
Alluring twined herself around, and fawned
With leering eye, and called with flattering tongue.
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