Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, POOR MARGARET, by PHOEBE CARY

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POOR MARGARET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We always called her 'poor margaret'
Last Line: She is rich in her father's house at last.
Subject(s): Heaven; Spinsters; Paradise; Old Maids

WE always called her "poor Margaret,"
And spoke about her in mournful phrase;
And so she comes to my memory yet
As she seemed to me in my childish days.

For in that which changing, waxeth old,
In things which perish, we saw her poor,
But we never saw the wealth untold,
She kept were treasures alone endure.

We saw her wrinkled, and pale, and thin.
And bowed with toil, but we could not see
That her patient spirit grew straight within,
In the power of its upright purity.

Over and over, every day,
Bleaching her linen in sun and rain,
We saw her turn it until it lay
As white on the grass as the snow had lain;

But we could not see how her Father's smile,
Shining over her spirit there,
Was whitening for her all the while
The spotless raiment his people wear.

She crimped and folded, smooth and nice,
All our sister's clothes, when she came to wed, --
(Alas! that she only wore them twice,
Once when living, and once when dead!)

And we said, she can have no wedding-day;
Speaking sorrowfully, under our breath;
While her thoughts were all where they give away
No brides to lovers, and none to death.

Poor Margaret! she sleeps now under the sod,
And the ills of her mortal life are past;
But heir with her Saviour, and heir of God,
She is rich in her Father's House at last.

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