John Wall Callcott
(1766 - 1821)

Callcott : O vainly wise : illustration

O vainly wise
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A piece written for the members of the Concentores (glee club).
Lyrics: Thomas Campbell

Oh vainly wise the moral muse hath sung
That suasive hope hath but a siren tongue.
True, she may sport with life's untutor'd day,
Nor heed the solace of its last decay.
But yet methinks, when wisdom shall assuage
That grief and passion of our greener age,
Though dull the close of life, and far away
Each flower that hail'd the dawning of the day.
Yet o'er her lovely hopes that once were dear:
The time-taught spirit, pensive not severe,
With milder grief her aged eyes shall fill,
And weep their falsehood, though she love them still.