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Love In Disguise

Unscathed through Beauty's thorny ways
Be mine, I said, henceforth to rove;
Too long hath Love consumed my days,
But now I shut my heart to love.
The Godhead heard—and 'Ah!—not so'—
With gay malicious glance, he cries,
'Who thinks to foil my fairer blow,
By wile, a surer victim, dies.'
And soon in Friendship's shape he came,—
Ah! how might I the cheat divine?
No fear had I of Friendship's flame,—
And led me to that bower of thine

And o'er us slipped a silken band,—
Friendship's it seemed to be—no more;
And yet, I own, mere Friendship's hand
Had never thrilled me so before.
Anon—in critic Taste's disguise,
He bade me scan each outward charm;
I scanned them with admiring eyes,
And all without one thought of harm.
Last—aged Wisdom's form he wore;—
With Wisdom what had Love to do?—
'Mind—temper—heart'—he said—'explore;'
I found them sage, and kind and true.
In Friendship's—Taste's—and Wisdom's guise,
'Twas so Love came my heart to move;
What blindness—never to surmise
That each was but a mask for Love!

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