Eternal Sin

William Alexander

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‘A sin that passes!’ Lo, one sad and high,
Bearing a taper stately like a queen,
Talks in her sleep—‘Will these hands ne'er be clean?’
‘What's done cannot be undone.’ She walks by
As she must walk thro' her eternity,
Bearing within her that which she hath been.
‘The sin that I have sinn'd is but one scene,
Life is a manifold drama,’ so men cry.
Alas! the shadow follows thee too well.
The interlude outgrows its single part,
And every other voice is stricken dumb.
That which thou carriest to the silent dell
Is the eternal sin thou hast become,
The everlasting tragedy thou art!

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