Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REPENTANCE, by GEORGE ALEXANDER STEVENS

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REPENTANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The dictates of nature prove school-knowledge weak
Last Line: Be henceforth repentance a stranger to love.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stevens, G. A.
Subject(s): Repentance; Penitence

'THE dictates of nature prove school-knowledge weak;
Does not instinct beyond all the orators speak?
From their parts of speech we'll not borrow one part;
Our lips, without words, find the way to the heart.'

Thus as last night I sung, with my lass on my knee,
Methought one below hoarse enquired for me;
We listened and heard him, his breathing seemed scant,
And upstairs he stepped with asthmatical pant.

The door op'ning wide, solus entered the sprite,
Black and all black his dress, sable emblem of night.
His livid tips quivered, pronouncing my name,
And, head and staff shaking, declared me to blame.

'Repentance,' quoth he, 'won't admit of delays;
I insist, from this moment, you alter your ways.'
As I stared at him, slyly my bottle I hid,
Then punct'ally promised to do as he bid.

With unkerchiefed neck, sparkling eyes and loose hair,
Her gown single-pinned, burst from closet my fair;
There she fled when the fright appeared in the room,
Then fell at his feet in the health of Love's bloom.

So graceful she knelt, and so tender her tone,
Then she sent such a look, Silverbeard was her own.
I saw his eyes twinkle, blood flattered his face,
He fondly, though feebly, essayed an embrace.

I left them and, just as I fancied, the churl
Made a strengthless attempt to be rude with my girl.
She shrieked, I rushed in as he strove to escape,
And the watch took Repentance away for a rape.

Ever since, when we wanton in rapt'rous embrace,
The reproach-bearing wretch dares not show us his face.
May each fond of each thus enjoyment improve;
Be henceforth Repentance a stranger to Love.

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