Woman. An Ode

by John Corry


In graceful youth the living hues
Of love, angelic bloom diffuse
O'er the fair virgin's face:
True symmetry adorns her form,
There health, with vital spirits warm,
Displays each living grace.

Her mind, like some expanding flower,
Grows more accomplished every hour,
By Education's aid;
The social arts that sweeten life,
And grace the mother and the wife,
Adorn the lovely maid.

Mature in excellence, her hand
She gives, at potent Love's command,
Some favoured man to bless;
And onward, thro' successive years,
She feels a mother's hopes and fears
Delight her, or distress.

Her finest feelings now expand,
With melting voice, like Virtue bland,
Her progeny she guides -
With piety their bosoms warms -
Quells their explosive passions' storms -
And o'er their youth presides.

When hoary, with the lapse of years
The retrospective vision chears
Her heart, with joy benign:
Hope gives the future to her eyes -
Opens the gates of Paradise,
And whispers, " It is thine. "

But, when by passions led astray,
Fair Woman - thoughtless, young, and gay -
To wantonness inclines;
Allured by Man's enchanting wiles,
In the sweet power of Love, she smiles,
And rosy wreaths entwines.

Satiety to batred turns,
And Man her fading beauty spurns,
Unmindful of her tears;
And Woman, with repentant sighs,
A victim to her folly, dies -
No hope her bosom chears.

Ye youthful Fair, be timely wise,
Voluptuous levity despise,
The Flatt'rers arts avoid;
To VIRTUE's dictates still adhere,
Then Innocence your hearts shall chear,
And TRUTH your actions guide.

Your transitory charms must fade,
Tho', in Light's loveliest hues arrayed,
All-beauteous they appear;
But the imperishable mind,
To blameless Rectitude inclined,
Shall live thro' Heaven's year.

Ah! when with sportive dance and song,
Ye bound gay Pleasure's path along,
All loose desires repress;
Nor let licentious Wit perveit
Your blameless purity of heart,
Nor Flattery's wiles caress.

O! cultivate exterior grace,
And let the beauty of the face
Declare the lovelier mind;
Let useful studies bless your hours,
Which shall adorn your mental powers,
By Wisdom's aid refined.

The myrtle with the bay entwine,
Poetic melody combine
With Music's matchless art;
Accomplished so, you'll ever please -
Your beauty, with commanding ease,
Shall triumph over the heart.

Hail, gentle sex! your grateful praise
Shall often harmonize my lays,
And humanize my heart;
Your charms over earth a light diffuse,
Which to the raptures of the muse
Doth powerful aid, impart.

Last updated November 28, 2022