Sensuality. An Elegy

by John Corry

When Sensuality the passions sways,
Then sacred Reason's voice is heard no more;
Embruted Man his appetites obeys,
Whilst tender friends his wretched state deplore.

Debased by Vice, alas! his tainted heart
Becomes a votary to Pleasure's charms,
'Till fierce Disease, deriding human art,
With thoughts of Death the wretched mind alarms.

The wanton nymph, whose eye's electric fire,
And graceful form, the giddy youth ensnare,
Must, at the certain stroke of Death, expire -
Faded those beauties, once surpassing fair.

Can all the bliss voluptuous beauty gives -
The feast - the dance - and Music's dulcet sounds,
Console the man who now luxurious lives,
When the dank mist of Woe his head surrounds?

When earthly beauties, fading to the sight,
Like visionary phantoms, mock the grasp,
Alas! the fleeting joys no more delight,
When Nature struggles with expiring gasp.

Then Pleasure's votaries, no longer gay,
With inward horror shrink from grim Remorse.
The trembling spirit quits its sinful clay,
And parent Earth conceals the noisome corse.

How differently pure Virtue's friends expire -
True Piety invigorates the mind -
They hear the welcome of the heavely choir,
Nor think of the dark globe they've left behind.

Triumphantly they join the sons of light,
Blessed with the smiles of uncreated Love,
Eternal joys their faithful souls requite,
Decked with immortal youth in Heaven above.

Last updated November 29, 2022