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Nathaniel Parker Willis
1807 - 1867


The shadows lay along Broadway,

'Twas near the twilight-tide,

And slowly there a Lady fair

Was walking in her pride :

Alone walk'd she; but viewlessly

Walk'd spirits at her side.

Peace charm'd the street beneath her feet,

And Honour charm'd the air;

And all astir look'd kind on her,

And call'd her good as fair:

For all god ever gave to her

She kept with chary care.

She kept with care her beauties rare

From lovers warm and true,

For her heart was cold to all but gold,

And the rich came not to woo:

But honour'd well are charms to sell,

If priests the selling do.

Now walking there was One more fair,

A slight Girl, lily pale;

And she had unseen company

To make the spirit quail:

'Twixt Want and Scorn she walk'd forlorn

And nothing could avail.

No mercy now can clear her brow

For this world's peace to pray:

For as love's wild prayer dissolved in air,

Her woman's heart gave way:

But the sin forgiven by Christ in Heaven

By man is cursed alway.


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