64. A Blight

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WHAT time my heart unfolded its fresh leaves
   In springtime gay, and scatter'd flowers around,
   A whisper warn'd of earth's unhealthy ground,
And all that there love's light and pureness
      grieves;
           Sun's ray and canker-worm,
           And sudden-whelming storm;—
But, ah! my self-will smiled, nor reck'd the
      gracious sound.

So now defilement dims life's memory-springs;
   I cannot hear an early-cherish'd strain,
   But first a joy, and then it brings a pain—
Fear, and self-hate, and vain remorseful stings:
           Tears lull my grief to rest,
           Not without hope, this breast
May one day lose its load, and youth yet bloom
      again.

Lazaret, Malta
.
January 19, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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