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THE TWO POETS. 35
THE TWO POETS.
Upon a violet bank a happy child
Once laid him down at dewy eve, and slept ; It was a place of beauty, fresh and wild,
Where fragrant thyme about his forehead crept.
He dream'd : an angel with a wing of fire Sped thro' the azure firmament above,
Then at his side attuned and placed a lyre, Saying in tones of tenderness and love,—
" Child of the earth, thy hand may tune the string, And wake its numbers for a listening world;
Choose now with pleasure's votaries to sing, Or where the Saviour's banner is unfurl'd."
He look'd—a lowly band had gather'd there, Far to the right along a narrow way;
He saw his place among them would be care, And weary toil, and cheerless poverty.
And next he saw, far to the left, a crowd Of pleasure-seeking souls, in proud array,
Ready to hail with acclamations loud
Each glowing number of the minstrel's lay.
Again the angel spoke,—" Fair child, beware i Upon this choice thy destiny depends—
E'en all the woes of infinite despair,
Or the transcendent bliss that never ends!"