Shall woman's dream of terror hurl the dart?
Oh, feeble weapon 'gainst so great a heart!
Must courage proved a thousand times in arms
Bow to a peril forged by vain alarms?
POLY.I know that dreams are born to fade away,
And melt in air before the light of day;
I know that misty vapours of the night
Dissolve and fly before the morning bright.
The dream is naught--but the dear dreamer--all!
She has my soul, Nearchus, fast in thrall;
Whoholds the marriage torch--august, divine,
Bids me to her sweet voice my will resign.
She fears my death--tho' baseless this her fright,
Pauline is wrung with fear--by day--by night;
My road to duty hampered by her fears,
How can I go when all undried her tears?
Herterror I disown--and all alarms,
Yet pity holds me in her loving arms:
No bolts or bars imprison,--yet her sighs
My fetters are--my conquerors, her eyes!
Say, kind Nearchus, is the cause you press
Such as to make me deaf to her distress?
The bonds I slacken I wouldnot unloose
Nothing I yield--yet grant a timely truce.
How grant you know not what? Are you assured
Of constancy?--as one who has endured?
God claims your soul for Him!--Now! Now! To-day!
The fruit to-morrow yields--oh, who shall say?Our God is just, but do His grace and power
Descend on recreants with equal shower?
On darkened souls His flame of light He turns,
Yet flame neglected soon but faintly burns,
And dying embers fade to ashes cold
If we the heart His spirit wooes withhold.Great Heaven retains the fire no longer sought,
While ashes turn to dust, and dust to naught.
His holy baptism He bids thee seek,
Neglect the call, and the desire grows weak.
Ah! whilst from woman's breast thou heedst the sighs,
The flame first flickers, then, untended--dies!POLY.
You know me ill,--'tis mine, that holy fire,
Fed, not extinguished, by unslaked desire
Her tears--I view them with a lover's eye;
And yet your Christ is mine--a Christian I!
The healing, cleansing flood o'er me shall flow,
I wouldefface the stain from birth I owe;
I would be pure--my sealed eyes would see!
The birthright Adam lost restored to me
This, this, the unfading crown! For this I yearn,
For that exhaustless fount I thirst, I burn.
Then, since my heart is true, Nearchus, say--
Shall Inot grant to pity this delay?
So doth the ghostly foe our souls abuse,
And all beyond his force he gains by ruse;
He hates the purpose fast he cannot foil,--
Then he retreats--retreats but to recoil!
In endless barricade obstruction piles,...