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1 Timothy 5:6

“She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”

By Gambold.1111See Works, p. 270.

How hapless is the applauded virgin’s lot,1212RS. Original has no verse numbering.

Her God forgetting, by her God forgot!

Stranger to truth, unknowing to obey,

In error nursed, and disciplined to stray;

Swoll’n with self-will, and principled with pride,

Sense all her good, and passion all her guide:

Pleasure its tide, and flattery lends its breath,

And smoothly waft her to eternal death!

A goddess here, she sees her votaries meet,

Crowd to her shrine, and tremble at her feet;

She hears their vows, believes their life and death

Hangs on the wrath and mercy of her breath;

Supreme in fancied state she reigns her hour,

And glories in her plenitude of power:

Herself the only object worth her care,

Since all the kneeling world was made for her.

For her, creation all its stores displays,

The silkworms labour, and the diamonds blaze:

Air, earth, and sea conspire to tempt her taste,

And ransack’d nature furnishes the feast.

Life’s gaudiest pride attracts her willing eyes.

And balls, and theatres, and courts arise:

Italian songsters pant her ear to please,

Bid the first cries of infant reason cease,

Save her from thought, and lull her soul to peace.

Deep sunk in sense the imprison’d soul remains,

Nor knows its fall from God, nor feels its chains:

Unconscious still, sleeps on in error’s night,

Nor strives to rise, nor struggles into light:

Heaven-born in vain, degenerate cleaves to earth,

(No pangs experienced of the second birth,)

She only fall’n, yet unawaken’d found,

While all the enthrall’d creation groans around.

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