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The Conflict
by [?]

No! I this conflict longer will not wage,
The conflict duty claims–the giant task;–
Thy spells, O virtue, never can assuage
The heart’s wild fire–this offering do not ask

True, I have sworn–a solemn vow have sworn,
That I myself will curb the self within;
Yet take thy wreath, no more it shall be worn–
Take back thy wreath, and leave me free to sin.

Rent be the contract I with thee once made;–
She loves me, loves me–forfeit be the crown!
Blessed he who, lulled in rapture’s dreamy shade,
Glides, as I glide, the deep fall gladly down.

She sees the worm that my youth’s bloom decays,
She sees my spring-time wasted as it flees;
And, marvelling at the rigor that gainsays
The heart’s sweet impulse, my reward decrees.

Distrust this angel purity, fair soul!
It is to guilt thy pity armeth me;
Could being lavish its unmeasured whole,
It ne’er could give a gift to rival thee!

Thee–the dear guilt I ever seek to shun,
O tyranny of fate, O wild desires!
My virtue’s only crown can but be won
In that last breath–when virtue’s self expires!