[Page [291]]


"That thine alms may be in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly." Matt. VI. 4.
1 HEAR heav'n's pure dictates, ye presumptuous crowd,
2 Be kind ye selfish, and abash'd ye proud!
3 Nor think the ostentatious act, which draws
4 The incense of ill judging man's applause,
5 The boon obtruded on the gazer's sight,
6 Outweighs in virtue's scale, the widow's mite;
7 Claim not in His divine rewards, a part,
8 Who knows the motive, and who views the heart;
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9 Be yours to hear the empty accents roll
10 Of praise, rejected by the conscious soul.
11 But ye, who when to succour want ye fly,
12 Have never paus'd to wish a witness nigh,
13 Have mingled with your alms, the unseen tear,
14 The secret sigh which heav'n alone could hear;
15 Be yours, when life shall reach the closing scene,
16 To read its record with a hope serene;
17 And yours to listen, while a voice of love
18 Proclaims your bright inheritance above.


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Title (in Source Edition): PARAPHRASE.
Genres: heroic couplet; paraphrase

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Williams, Helen Maria, 1759-1827. Poems on various subjects: with introductory remarks on the present state of science and literature in France. London: G. and W. B. Whittaker, 1823, pp. [291]-292.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [8º W 229 BS].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Helen Maria Williams