Mourning Women

All veiled in black, with faces hid from sight,
Crouching together in the jolting cart,
What forms are these that pass alone, apart,
In abject apathy to life's delight?
The motley crowd, fantastically bright,
Shifts gorgeous through each dazzling street and mart;
Only these sisters of the suffering heart
Strike discords in this symphony of light.

Most wretched women! whom your prophet dooms
To take love's penalties without its prize!
Yes; you shall bear the unborn in your wombs,
And water dusty death with streaming eyes,
And, wailing, beat your breasts among the tombs;
But souls ye have none fit for Paradise.

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