HOW soon--alas! did Man, created pure--
By Angels guarded, deviate from the line
Prescribed to duty:--woeful forfeiture
He made by wilful breach of law divine.
With like perverseness did the Church abjure
Obedience to her Lord, and haste to twine,
'Mid Heaven-born flowers that shall for aye endure,
Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign.
O Man,--if with thy trials thus it fares,
If good can smooth the way to evil choice, 10
From all rash censure be the mind kept free;
He only judges right who weighs, compares,
And in the sternest sentence which his voice
Pronounces, ne'er abandons Charity.