Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

Her Jury

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A lily rooted in a sacred soil,
Arrayed with those who neither spin nor toil;
Dinah, the preacher, through the purple air,
Forever in her gentle evening prayer
Shall plead for Her--what ear too deaf to hear?--
"As if she spoke to some one very near."


And he of storied Florence, whose great heart
Broke for its human error; wrapped apart,
And scorching in the swift, prophetic flame
Of passion for late holiness; and shame
Than untried glory grander, gladder, higher--
Deathless, for Her, he "testifies by fire."


A statue fair and firm on shining feet,
Womanhood's woman, Dorothea, sweet
As strength, and strong as tenderness, to make
A "struggle with the dark" for white light's sake,
Immortal stands, unanswered speaks. Shall they,
Of Her great hand the moulded, breathing clay,
Her fit, select, and proud survivors be?
Possess the life eternal, and not She?

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward