What were once her graces,1
Now are but her wiles ;2
Fair as aye her face is3
But how changed her smiles !4
More would tears become her,5
Than that fellowship6
Of the heart woe-laden7
And the laughing lip.8
Better far be weeping,9
Than with that sad smile,10
Which, once sure to win us,11
Now doth scarce beguile ;12
For the heart-light hath taint13
Whence the smile flashed forth,14
But the fountain of tears—15
That can nought defile.16
Gather we the sea-flower,17
And tend it as we may,18
Its purple glory fadeth,19
And pineth for the spray ;20
And gather we the sea-flower,21
And watered though it be,22
Its fairy branches spread not23
As erst beneath the sea.24
E’en so a maiden’s beauty25
Must lose its charm and air,26
Without the salt of Modesty27
Within, to keep it fair.28