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STAIRS

 

Some on the way to palaces are laid,
With statues and with tapestry adorned,
Of marble with a grey-hued balustrade.

The second in the burgher's dwelling end,
Only of sandstone—unadorned are they,
And turning, by a modest path ascend.

Others are worn away in woeful wise,
And they are high, where ne'er a foot may tread,
And moisture on the wall above them lies.

But yet a thought—whatever stairs they be
On which by chance I linger in the town,
Ever one thought there is brings grief to me:

That o'er them all 'midst cherished souls' dismay,
And with unhappiness and flowing tears,
Which in this life are seldom brushed away—

That o'er them all, or 'mid the flickering glow
Of tapers, or in semi-gloom, alike
The coffin with the dead is borne below.

 

"The Breviary of a Modern Man"
(1892).

 

 
Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1970, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.