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Poem by Edith Wharton
I. LA VIERGE AU DONATEUR HERE by the ample river's argent sweep, Bosomed in tilth and vintage to her walls, A tower-crowned Cybele in armoured sleep The city lies, fat plenty in her halls, With calm parochial spires that hold in fee The friendly gables clustered at their base, And, equipoised o'er tower and market-place, The Gothic minister's winged immensity; And in that narrow burgh, with equal mood, Two placid hearts, to all life's good resigned, Might, from the altar to the lych-gate, find Long years of peace and dreamless plenitude. II. MONA LISA Yon strange blue city crowns a scarped steep No mortal foot hath bloodlessly essayed: Dreams and illusions beacon from its keep. But at the gate an Angel bares his blade; And tales are told of those who thought to gain At dawn its ramparts; but when evening fell Far off they saw each fading pinnacle Lit with wild lightnings from the heaven of pain; Yet there two souls, whom life's perversities Had mocked with want in plenty, tears in mirth, Might meet in dreams, ungarmented of earth, And drain Joy's awful chalice to the lees.
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