Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/82

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On earth they offered, too, an easy life
To those who their mild lessons would obey,
Exempt from want, from danger, and from strife;
And from the forest leading them away,
They placed them underneath this Virgin's sway,
A numerous fellowship, in peace to dwell;
Their high and happy office there to pay
Devotions due, which she requited well,
Their heavenly Guardian she in whatsoe'er befell.


Thus, Monnema remember'd, it was told
By one who in his hot and headstrong youth
Had left her happy service; but when old
Lamented oft with unavailing ruth,
And thoughts which sharper than a serpent's tooth
Pierced him, that he had changed that peaceful place
For the fierce freedom and the ways uncouth
Of their wild life, and lost that Lady's grace,
Wherefore he had no hope to see in Heaven her face.