Sonnet 12

Henry Timrod

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What gossamer lures thee now? What hope, what name
Is on thy lips? What dreams to fruit have grown?
Thou who hast turned ONE Poet-heart to stone,
Is thine yet burning with its seraph flame?
Let me give back a warning of thine own,
That, falling from thee many moons ago,
Sank on my soul like the prophetic moan
Of some young Sibyl shadowing her own woe.
The words are thine, and will not do thee wrong,
I only bind their solemn charge to song.
Thy tread is on a quicksand -- oh! be wise!
Nor, in the passionate eagerness of youth,
Mistake thy bosom-serpent's glittering eyes
For the calm lights of reason and of truth.

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