To The Butterfly.

Fly, gaudy moth, with fickle flight,1
Elate in all thy painted hues,2
Enjoy thine hour of short delight,3
And midst the fairest blossoms choose :4
Beware of danger ! never stay,5
Nor linger on one bud too long,6
But lightly flutter, and away,7
Before you feel the charm too strong.8
Each flow’ret is with danger fraught,9
Within, the sweetest Death may wait.10
In vain my warning! you are caught,11
And struggle to escape too late.12
You totter now with drooping wing,13
You have no longer force to fly,14
A helpless, broken-hearted thing,15
Your beauty fades,—you sink,—you die!16
Thus youthful hearts each form admire,17
Each blushing cheek, each fairer face ;18
And thus as youthful fancies tire,19
They settle on some newer grace.20
But manhood’s heart will danger brave,21
Reject advice, disdain to flee,22
Entrapp’d by Love, a willing slave,23
It cannot, hardly would, be free.24
But, ah! the hopes that used to shine,25
In Fancy’s gay prismatic wing,26
The thoughts, the joys of youth decline,27
And later days but sorrows bring.28
For soon as Love has caught the prize,29
Deprived of spirit, sunk in pride,30
The faded heart he will despise,31
And cast the broken toy aside.32