William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

Love Abused - Poem by William Cowper

What is there in the vale of life
Half so delighted as a wife,
When friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage bond divine?
The stream of pure and genuine love
Derive its current from above;
And earth a second Eden shows,
Where'er the healing water flows;
But ah, if from the dikes and drains
Of sensual Nature's feverish veins,
Lust, like a lawless headstrong flood,
Impregnated with ooze and mud,
Descending fast on every side
Once mingles with the sacred tide,
Farewell the soul-enlivening scene!
The banks that wore a smiling green,
With rank defilement overspread,
Bewail their flowery beauties dead;
The stream polluted, dark, and dull,
Diffused into a Stygian pool,
Through life's last melancholy years
Is fed with overflowing tears,
Complaints supply the zephyr's part,
And sighs that heave a breaking heart.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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