Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

Sphinx

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O glad girls' faces, hushed and fair! how shall I sing for ye?
For the grave picture of a sphinx is all that I can see.


Vain is the driving of the sand, and vain the desert's art;
The years strive with her, but she holds the lion in her heart.


Baffled or fostered, patient still, the perfect purpose clings;
Flying or folded, strong as stone, she wears the eagle's wings.


Eastward she looks; against the sky the eternal morning lies;
Silent or pleading, veiled or free, she lifts the woman's eyes.


O grave girls' faces, listening kind! glad will I sing for ye,
While the proud figure of the sphinx is all that I can see.

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