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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/254

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214
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

Bent on your knees the Boon receive—
This will assist you to deceive—
The glittering gift was made for you,
Now hold it up to public view;
Lest evil unforeseen betide,
A Mask each canker'd brow shall hide,
(Whilst Truth my sole desire is nigh,
Prepared the danger to defy,)
"There is the Maid's perverted name,
"And there the Poet's guilty Flame,
"Gloaming a deep phosphoric fire,
"Threatening—but ere it spreads, retire."
Says Truth "Up Virgins, do not fear!
"The Comet rolls its Influence here;
"'Tis Scandal's Mirror you perceive,
"These dazzling Meteors but deceive—
"Approach and touch—Nay do not turn,
"It blazes there, but will not burn."—
At once the shivering Mirror flies,
Teeming no more with varnished Lies;
The baffled friends of Fiction start,
Too late desiring to depart—
Truth poising high Ithuriel's spear
Bids every Fiend unmask'd appear,
The vizard tears from every face,
And dooms them to a dire disgrace.
For e'er they compass their escape,

Each takes perforce a native shape—