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An Orphan Girl by HLV Derozio

Her hair was black as a raven’s wings,

Her cheek the tulip’s hue did wear,

Her voice was soft as when night winds sing,

Her brow was as a moonbeam fair;

Her sire had joined the wake of war;-

The battle-shock, the shout, and scar

He knew, and gained a glorious grave-

Such is the guerdon of the brave!-

Her anguished mother’s suffering heart

Could not endure a widow’s part;

She sunk beneath her soul’s distress,

And left her infant parentless.-

She hath no friend on this cold, bleak earth,

To give her a shelter, a home, and a hearth;

Through life’s dreary desert alone she must wend,

For alas! the wretched have never a friend!

And should she stray from virtue’s way,

The world will scorn, and its scorn can slay.

Ah! Shame hath enough to wring the breast

With a weight of sorrow and guilt oppresed;

But Oh! ’tis coldly cruel to wound

The bosom whose blood must gush unbound.

No tear is so bright as the tear that flows

For erring woman’s unpitied woes;

And blest be for ever his honoured name

Who shelters an orphan from sorrow and shame!

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