To A Lady Who Was Libell'D.

When Cynthia, Regent of the Tides,
Pale in meridian Pride presides;
A Sov'reign Pow'r the Goddess claims
O'er Seas, and Sea--supplying Streams;
The River of the richest Source
With Ease she turns, and checks his Course;
His crystal Clearness can defile
With ev'ry Filth, and Salt as vile;
However strong, and smooth, and pure,
Her Tyranny he must endure;
Till, her Dominion in the Wain,
He clears, and is himself again.

Thus, over black, benighted Brains,
Fell Envy, baleful Goddess, reigns;
O'er mortal Passions, pale, presides;
Passions, the Soul's tumultuous Tides;
Which, in their fierce, resistless Sway,
Invade all Merit in their Way;
With Ease the clearest Truths confute,
With Ease the purest Worth pollute;
Check ev'ry Virtue in its Course,
And taint, impetuous, to its Source,
The Current of the fairest Fame,
By forcing Filth into the Stream.

So are you sully'd for a Season,
Till Rage recoils, and yields to Reason:
Then turns the Tide--your Credit clears,
And all your real Worth appears.

by Mary Barber

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