Washington Allston

A Smile

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A smile!--Alas, how oft the lips that bear
This floweret of the soul but give to air,
Like flowering graves, the growth of buried care!
Then drear indeed that miserable heart
Where this last human boon is aye denied!
If such there be, it claims in man no part,
Whose deepest grief has yet a mirthful bride.
For whose so many as the sad man's face?
His joy, though brief, is yet reprieve from woe;
The waters of his life in darkness flow;
Yet, when the accidents of time displace
The cares that vault their channel, and let in
A gleam of day, with what a joyous din
The stream jets out to catch the sunny grace!

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Washington Allston