To all that breathe the air of heaven,
Some boon of strength has Nature given.
In forming the majestic bull,
She fenced with wreathed horns his skull;
A hoof of strength she lent the steed,
And wing’d the timorous hare with speed.
She gave the lion fangs of terror,
And, o’er the ocean’s crystal mirror,
Taught the unnumber’d scaly throng
To trace their liquid path along;
While for the umbrage of the grave,
She plumed the warbling world of love.
To man she gave, in that proud hour,
The boon of intellectual power.
Then, what, oh woman, what, for thee,
Was left in Nature’s treasury?
She gave thee beauty — mightier far
Than all the pomp and power of war.
Nor steel, nor fire itself, hath power
Like woman in her conquering hour.
Be thou but fair, mankind adore thee;
Smile, and a world is weak before thee!