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Self–love and Truth Incompatible

From thorny wilds a monster came,

That filled my soul with fear and shame;

The birds, forgetful of their mirth,

Drooped at the sight, and fell to earth;

When thus a sage addressed mine ear,

Himself unconscious of a fear:

“Whence all this terror and surprise,

Distracted looks and streaming eyes?

Far from the world and its affairs,

The joy it boasts, the pain it shares,

Surrender, without guile or art,

To God an undivided heart;

The savage form, so feared before,

Shall scare your trembling soul no more;

For, loathsome as the sight may be,

'Tis but the love of self you see.

Fix all your love on God alone,

Choose but his will, and hate your own:

No fear shall in your path be found,

The dreary waste shall bloom around,

And you, through all your happy days,

Shall bless his name, and sing his praise.”

Oh lovely solitude, how sweet

The silence of this calm retreat!

Here truth, the fair whom I pursue,

Gives all her beauty to my view;

The simple, unadorned display

Charms every pain and fear away.

O Truth, whom millions proudly slight;

O Truth, my treasure and delight;

Accept this tribute to thy name,

And this poor heart from which it came!

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