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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