Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

On The Bridge Of Sighs

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It chanceth once to every soul,
Within a narrow hour of doubt and dole,


Upon Life's Bridge of Sighs to stand,
"A palace and a prison on each hand."


O palace of the rose-heart's hue!
How like a flower the warm light falls from you!


O prison with the hollow eyes!
Beneath your stony stare no flowers arise.


O palace of the rose-sweet sin!
How safe the heart that does not enter in!


O blessed prison-walls! how true
The freedom of the soul that chooseth you!

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward