Who is the maid my spirit seeks
Through cold reproof, and slanders blight –
Has she loves roses on her cheeks?
Is her’s an eye of calm delight?
No – wan and sunk with midnight prayer
Are the pale looks of her I love
And if by times a light be there
That light is kindled from above.
I choose not her mine hearts elect
’Mongst those that seek their Makers shrine
In gems and garlands proudly decked
As if themselves were things divine.
No, heaven but faintly warms the breast
That beats beneath a broidered veil.
And she, who comes in glittering dress
To mourn her frailty – yet is frail.
Not so the faded form I prize
And love because her bloom is gone
The glory of those sainted eyes
Is all the dress her brow puts on.
But ne’er was beauties bloom so bright,
So touching as that forms decay
Which as the altars wavering light
In holy lustre fades away.