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THE HEART'S PICTURES, by                    
First Line: Hearts are galleries, wide and long
Last Line: Around that mystic shrine.
Subject(s): Hearts; Paintings & Painters; Poetry & Poets

HEARTS are galleries, wide and long,
Illumed with the soul's own light,
And many are cheerful and filled with song,
To many shadows and gloom belong,
And some are as dark as night.

Paintings are there upon the walls,
A series of self-wrought works;
And though no irreverent or gay step falls,
Yet in these marvellous, echoing halls
A gleam of life still lurks.

Pictures oft are of little worth,
And live but a fleeting day;
But these are undying, and e'en from birth
We paint and hang them, in grief or mirth,
Upon these walls of gray.

Some are painted in brilliant tints,
And shine with a lustre clear
That over the neighboring pictures glints
With soft light, showing, in faint reprints,
Their scenes so sweet and dear.

Some are dim with the frost of age,
And veiled with a mist of tears;
They chronicle many a bitter page
That no fine wisdom of king or sage
Can free from blots and fears.

Some we hang with the face unseen,
Lest any but we divine
The pain that awakes, with its knife-thrust keen,
Our hopes and passions that cling, still green,
Around that mystic shrine.

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