Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1365. On a Cast from an Antique
 
By George Pellew
 
 
HEADLESS, without an arm, a figure leans
By something vaguely Greek,—a fount, an urn;
Dim stairs climb past her where one’s thoughts discern
A temple or a palace. Some great queen’s
Daughter art thou? or humbly one of those        5
Who serve a queen? Is this the sacred thing
That holds thy child, thy husband, or thy king?
Or lightly-laughing water? No one knows.
A woman once, now merely womanhood,
In gentle pose of un-selfconscious dream        10
That consecrates all ministry of love.
Gone are thy temples and the gods thereof,
But through the ruin of centuries sublime
Heart speaks to heart, and still is understood.
 

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