I STOOD, one Sunday morning, Before a large church door, The congregation gathered And carriages a score, -- From one out stepped a lady I oft had seen before. Her hand was on a prayer-book, And held a vinaigrette; The sign of man's redemption Clear on the book was set, -- But above the Cross there glistened A golden Coronet. For her the obsequious beadle The inner door flung wide, Lightly, as up a ball-room, Her footsteps seemed to glide, -- There might be good thoughts in her For all her evil pride. But after her a woman Peeped wistfully within, On whose wan face was graven Life's hardest discipline, -- The trace of the sad trinity Of weakness, pain, and sin. The few free-seats were crowded Where she could rest and pray; With her worn garb contrasted Each side in fair array, -- "God's house holds no poor sinners," She sighed, and crept away.
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