Alien Sin

I HELD within my heart a secret thought, —
A sinful thought, yet with such sweetness fraught
I clasped it close, and counted o’er and o’er
Each promised joy, that yet might charm me more.
What hisses at my side ? I turned, and there
Medusa stood, with hideous serpent-hair.
She smote my thought, with great death-dealing eyes ;
No pity there. Torn with remorse, she cries,
“ Thy thought, conceived and quickened deep within
Another breast, was born ; I am that sin.
See what its sweetness bore, and then beware
Lest cherished sin this dreadful guise shall wear.”