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"Yet, O God," I said, "O grave," I said,

"O mother's heart and bosom,

With whom first and last are equal, saint

and corpse and little child!

We are fools to your deductions, in these

figments of heart-closing!

We are traitors to your causes, in these

sympathies defiled!

"Learn more reverence, madam, not for rank

or wealth,—that needs no learning;

That comes quickly, - quick as sin does.

ay, and culminates to sin;

But for Adam's seed, MAN!

Trust me,

't is a clay above your scorning,

With God's image stamped upon it, and

God's kindling breath within.

"What right have you, madam, gazing in

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"Why, what right have you, made fair by

that same God, -the sweetest woman,

Of all women he has fashioned,—with your

lovely spirit-face,

Which would seem too near to vanish if its

smile were not so human,

And your voice of holy sweetness, turning

common words to grace,

"What right can you have, God's other works to scorn, despise, revile them

In the gross, as mere men, broadly,—not as

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As mere Parias of the outer world, forbidden

to assoil them

In the hope of living, dying, near that sweet

ness of your mouth ?

"Have you any answer, madam? If my

spirit were less earthly,

If its instrument were gifted with a better

silver string,

I would kneel down where I stand, and say,

Behold me! I am worthy

Of thy loving, for I love thee! I am worthy

as a king.

"As it is your ermined pride, I swear,

shall feel this stain upon her,

That I, poor, weak, tost with passion, scorned

by me and you again,

Love you, madam, dare to love you, to my

grief and your dishonor,

To my endless desolation, and your impotent


More mad words like these, more madness!

friend, I need not write them fuller;

And I hear my hot soul dropping on the

lines in showers of tears;

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