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THE VASE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: There was a vase of odour lay
Last Line: Shall turn to fragrant balm in heaven!
Alternate Author Name(s): Little, Thomas
Subject(s): Vases

THERE was a vase of odour lay
For many an hour on Beauty's shrine,
So sweet that Love went every day
To banquet on its breath divine.

And not an eye had ever seen
The fragrant charm the vase conceal'd;
O Love! how happy 'twould have been,
If thou hadst ne'er that charm reveal'd!

But Love, like every other boy,
Would know the spell that lurks within;
He wish'd to break the crystal toy,
But Beauty murmur'd "'twas a sin!"

He swore, with many a tender plea,
That neither Heaven nor earth forbad it;
She told him, Virtue kept the key,
And look'd as if -- she wish'd he had it!

He stole the key when Virtue slept
(Even she can sleep, if Love but ask it)
And Beauty sigh'd, and Beauty wept,
While silly Love unlock'd the casket.

O dulcet air that vanish'd then!
Can Beauty's sigh recall thee ever?
Can Love himself inhale again
A breath so precious? never, never!

Go, maiden, weep -- the tears of woe
By Beauty to repentance given,
Though bitterly on earth they flow,
Shall turn to fragrant balm in heaven!

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