TO HER TENDERLY
to her tenderly, taunt her not now,
Tho' a million of sins hath deep furrowed her brow;
Greet her with kindness. Her once raven hair
Is frosted with silver time's hand hath left there.
Cheeks now so colorless, bloomed like the rose;
Lips now all tremulous, spoke but repose;
Dim eyes, all clouded with fountains of tears,
Were like the young fawn's eyes, in long agone years.
Speak to her tenderly. How can you know
Why bowed her young soul 'neath temptation's fell blow?
It may be that poverty planted the seed-
Tears nourished its growth, Pride matured the rank weed.
It may be, she loved, tho' unwisely, too well;
It may be, the serpent allured, with his spell,
That from his sweet charming she woke but to know
The death in life sorrow-the all-alone woe.
It may be, in sinning, she erred but to save
A dear one from filling want's desolate grave;
Perchance some unkindness first drove to despair,
A manly heart saved her, she wept her grief there.
Then judge not too harshly. Remorse's heavy hand
Is a terrible stricture-an icy-cold band;
Long years of repentance, of praying, and pain,
And the blood of the Saviour, hath cleansed her from stain!