The Frown and the Smile

Miss Vardill

To Amanda

When Attic Wit & Mirth preside
Amanda! why with scornful pride
My humble lay reprove?
 The sparkling verse which smoothly flows
The sand of shallow Fancy shows,
 But not the pearl of love!

Thy beaming eye I never praise,
Nor on thy lips vermillion gaze
 In soft, but fatal danger!
’Tis not thy silver voice I bless,
For he who would his wit possess
 Must be to thine a stranger!

But ’tis thy Frown whose bland control
Oft to my tempest-troubled soul
 Has peace & safety given:
Then if thy frown from fatal flames
So soon the erring soul reclaims
Smile next, & grant it heaven!

Yes, smile, Amanda! claim thy pow’r — 
In reconcilement’s precious hour
 The heav’n of peace is known;
When spleen has sunk, & pride has bow’d,
And joy beams thro’ the parting cloud,
 Love builds his surest throne.

The flow’r which round the ice-plant clings,
The bird which from its ashes springs
 Is priz’d beyond compare;
And love that braves thy anger’s gloom
Is lasting as the ice-plant’s bloom,
 And as the phoenix rare.

While pride & scorn their revel keep,
Love in his humble shroud may sleep,
 But never, never dies!
He rests in death-like silence hid
Till Mercy’s angel-voice shall bid
 His guiltless spirit rise.

Amanda! thus thy beaming eye
To hopes which cold & buried lie
 Might resurrection give:
But since an angel’s voice can save
Love’s spirit from its timeless grave,
 Speak, too, & bid it live!


From a new candidate for admission to the Attic Chest & the honours of the Sitting.