"If by the Day's illusive Scenes misled, / My erring Soul from Virtue’s Path has stray'd; / Snar'd by example, or by Passion warm'd, / Some false Delight my giddy Sense has charm'd, / My calmer Thoughts the wretched Choice reprove, / And my best Hopes are center'd in thy Love."
— Carter, Elizabeth (1717-1806)
And calm Reflexion soothes the pensive Soul;
While Reason undisturb'd asserts her Sway,
And Life’s deceitful Colours fade away:
To Thee! all-conscious Presence! I devote
This peaceful Interval of sober Thought.
Here all my better Faculties confine,
And be this Hour of sacred Silence thine.
If by the Day's illusive Scenes misled,
My erring Soul from Virtue’s Path has stray'd;
Snar'd by example, or by Passion warm'd,
Some false Delight my giddy Sense has charm'd,
My calmer Thoughts the wretched Choice reprove,
And my best Hopes are center'd in thy Love.
Depriv'd of this, can Life one Joy afford!
It's utmost Boast a vain unmeaning Word.
But ah! how oft' my lawless Passions rove,
And break those awful Precepts I approve!
Pursue the fatal Impulse I abhor,
And violate the Virtue I adore!
Oft' when thy better Spirit's guardian Care
Warn'd my fond Soul to shun the tempting Snare,
My stubborn Will his gentle Aid represt,
And check’d the rising Goodness in my Breast,
Mad with vain Hopes, or urg'd by false Desires,
Still'd his soft Voice, and quench'd his sacred Fires.
(ll. 1-26, pp. 31-2)
See Poems on Several Occasions. (London: Printed for John Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1762). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO><Link 2nd edition in Google Books>
See also Elizabeth Carter, Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, with a New Edition of her Poems, Ed. Montagu Pennington, 2 vols. (London: F.C. and J. Rivington, 1816). <Link to WWO><Same edition in Internet Archive>