How oft doth beauty lead to sin,
And tempt the heart to stray;
It charms awhile, then hides again,
And soon it fades away!
Not all the art, and pains, and care
Of man can make it sure;
Nor can the fairest of the fair
The transient bliss secure.
Sickness and pain may soon disgrace
The most admirèd charms:
Soon must they sleep in death’s embrace,
And lose their lovely forms.
How vain is beauty, then, my Muse!
Unworthy of thy lays:
Turn, and a nobler subject choose,
Let virtue have thy praise.
How wise is she whose constant care
Pursues the heav’nly road:
She shall the Eternal’s favor share,
And every real good.
She ever shuns the snares of vice
How circumspect her ways!
Wise in simplicity she is;
Unsought her general praise.
If she is called to mingle souls,
How cautious is her choice;
No vain pretense her love controls,
She scorns the flatterer’s voice.
United, see, illustrious shines
The tender, prudent wife;
Humility her soul refines,
Grace governs all her life.
What undissembled love she bears
To him who has her hand:
How does she soften all his cares,
And all his woes attend!
Is she a friend? How kind and true!
Her charity, how pure!
Her friendship is not like the dew
That passes in an hour.
She shall be praised when beauty fails,
And years and age increase:
She shall be blest while grace prevails,
And end her days in peace.