Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
A Magdalen of the Dresden Gallery
By Augustus Rodney Macdonough (1820–1907)
 
[Born in Middletown, Conn., 1820. Died, 1907.]

1.
GERHARD DOW—LYS—CORREGGIO.

NOT she, whose fruitless tears avow a youth
Less yielded to warm love than basely sold;
Angry with shame, who clutches still her gold,
Drooped in satiety, not bowed with ruth—
Nor she who mars with penances uncouth        5
Her fatal beauty, which no eyes behold
Save a skull’s hollow orbs, yet overbold
Deems heaven’s grace a debt to grief, forsooth—
Nor that dust-kissing face, whence sorrow’s tooth
Has gnawed all passion, leaving it as cold        10
As her own emptied vase: whose hands enfold
The Book from which remorse has taught her truth—
Though still so fair in ruin she might win
The world to doubt if sentence waits on sin.
 
2.
ZURBARAN—GUIDO.

A LONE, not lingering to adore or mourn,
        15
First seen, first sent, from that transfigured grave,
With “go in peace”—to seek no desert cave,
But loving, erring lives to lift and warn.
With prophet-tears for sisters yet unborn,
She, first forgiven, only blessed, shall crave        20
Their heritage in all her dear Lord gave,
Grace for crushed hearts, killed by the harsh world’s scorn—
Or, rapt in vision, lifting eyes above
Softened through sorrow to ecstatic love,
Shall hail the promise of the golden years        25
When balm shall be distilled from bitterest tears,
God’s law rule man’s, and all who, following her,
Love, to be lost, not unredeemed shall err.

  1874.
 
 
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