The Advice

Thomas Chatterton

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Revolving in their destin'd sphere,
The hours begin another year
As rapidly to fly;
Ah! think, Maria, (e'er in grey
Those auburn tresses fade away
So youth and beauty die.
Tho' now the captivating throng
Adore with flattery and song,
And all before you bow;
Whilst unattentive to the strain,
You hear the humble muse complain,
Or wreathe your frowning brow.

Tho' poor Pitholeon's feeble line,
In opposition to the nine,
Still violates your name;
Tho' tales of passion meanly told,
As dull as Cumberland, as cold,
Strive to confess a flame.

Yet, when that bloom and dancing fire,
In silver'd rev'rence shall expire,
Aged, wrinkled, and defaced;
To keep one lover's flame alive,
Requires the genius of a Clive,
With Walpole's mental taste.

Tho' rapture wantons in your air,
Tho' beyond simile you're fair,
Free, affable, serene;
Yet still one attribute divine
Should in your composition shine--
Sincerity, I mean.

Tho' num'rous swains before you fall,
'Tis empty admiration all,
'Tis all that you require;
How momentary are their chains!
Like you, how unsincere the strains
Of those who but admire!

Accept, for once, advice from me,
And let the eye of censure see
Maria can be true;
No more for fools or empty beaux,
Heav'n's representatives disclose,
Or butterflies pursue.

Fly to your worthiest lover's arms,
To him resign your swelling charms,
And meet his gen'rous breast;
Or if Pitholeon suits your taste,
His muse with tattr'd fragments graced,
Shall read your cares to rest.

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