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Of my hands? Then I turn'd me self-banish’d, and came
Into Thessaly here, where I met with the same
As myself. I have heard how they met by a stream
In games, and were suddenly changed by a scream
That made wretches of many, as she rolld her wild

eyes
Against heav'n, and so vanish'd. The gentle and wise
Lose their thoughts in deep studies, and others their ill
In the mirth of mankind where they mingle them still.

THE

TWO PEACOCKS OF BEDFONT.

THE

TWO PEACOCKS OF BEDFONT.

I.
Alas! that breathing Vanity should go

Where Pride is buried, like its very ghost,
Uprisen from the naked bones below,

In novel flesh, clad in the silent boast Of gaudy silk that flutters to and fro,

Shedding its chilling superstition most On

young and ignorant natures as it wont To haunt the peaceful churchyard of Bedfont!

II.
Each Sabbath morning, at the hour of prayer,

Behold two maidens, up the quiet green
Shining, far distant, in the summer air

That flaunts their dewy robes and breathes between Their downy plumes, - sailing as if they were

Two far-off ships, until they brush between The churchyard's humble walls, and watch and wait On either side of the wide open'd gate.

III. And there they stand with haughty necks before

God's holy house, that points towards the skies — Frowning reluctant duty from the poor,

And tempting homage from unthoughtful eyes : And Youth looks lingering from the temple door,

Breathing its wishes in unfruitful sighs, With pouting lips, — forgetful of the grace, Of health, and smiles, on the heart-conscious face;

IV.

Because that Wealth, which has no bliss beside,

May wear the happiness of rich attire; And those two sisters, in their silly pride,

May change the soul's warm glances for the fire Of lifeless diamonds; and for health deny’d,

With art, that blushes at itself, inspire
Their languid cheeks - and flourish in a glory
That has no life in life, nor after-story.

V.

The aged priest goes shaking his grey hair

In meekest censuring, and turns his eye Earthward in grief, and heavenward in pray'r,

And sighs, and clasps his hands, and passes by. Good-hearted man! what sullen soul would wear

Thy sorrow for a garb, and constantly
Put on thy censure, that might win the praise
Of one so grey in goodness and in days?

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