Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
Middle States: New York, the City, N. Y.
Unseen Spirits
Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)
THE SHADOWS lay along Broadway,—
  ’T was near the twilight tide,—
And slowly there a lady fair
  Was walking in her pride.
Alone walked she; but, viewlessly,        5
  Walked spirits at her side.
Peace charmed the street beneath her feet,
  And Honor charmed the air,
And all astir looked kind on her,
  And called her good as fair;        10
For all God ever gave to her
  She kept with chary care.
She kept with care her beauties rare
  From lovers warm and true;
For her heart was cold to all but gold,        15
  And the rich came not to woo:
But honored well are charms to sell,
  If priests the selling do.
Now walking there was one more fair,—
  A slight girl, lily-pale;        20
And she had unseen company
  To make the spirit quail:
’Twixt Want and Scorn she walked forlorn,
  And nothing could avail.
No mercy now can clear her brow        25
  For this world’s peace to pray;
For, as love’s wild prayer dissolved in air,
  Her woman’s heart gave way!
But the sin forgiven by Christ in heaven,
  By man is cursed alway.        30

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.