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Poem by Robert Anderson
Near Lagan's banks, a mile from town, A rural whiten'd cottage stands; The hamlets, halls, and hills of Down, And many a prospect it commands: It fronts the road, where haughty pride And honest poverty throng by; But few they are who turn aside, On this lone cot to cast an eye. Yet, it contains a matchless form, As youthful fancy ever drew; And in that form a heart as warm, As meek philanthropist e'er knew: And it contains as fair a face, As ever fore'd a sigh from man; Each winning smile, each witching grace Are center'd all in Marianne. Yet beauty is a short--liv'd flow'r, Ev'n when in dazzling tints array'd; It blossoms, withers, in an hour, But mental beauties never fade: Think, thus, ye fair in giddy youth, Who whirl o'er fashion's gilded round; Leave not to time to tell this truth, Too late, in age, it oft is found. She who in this low cot resides, To pride, to beauty, wisely blind, The follies of her sex derides, But gladly wou'd improve each mind: Now turning ``nature's volume o'er;'' Now shunning sanguinary man; Now culling, weighing useful lore; Thus pass the days of Marianne. When Spring dissolves stern Winter's chain, And vegetation ventures forth, She marks the flow'rets on the plain, Just emblems of her modest worth: When health, her guide, in Summer leads To some sequester'd cool alcove, The rising produce of the meads Points to that Pow'r, who reigns above. When Autumn's sheaves, and saffron'd leaves Again tell angry Winter near, By study, she the gloom deceives, Or converse sweet, with friends sincere: Still proving, that from virtue spring The greatest pleasures known to man-- Long may each changing season bring Health, joy, and peace to Marianne!
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