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FALSE AND TRUE, by                    
First Line: "we grasp a hand, we think it true and strong"
Last Line: From which the angel turns away aggreived.


WE grasp a hand, we think it true and strong,
We look in eyes where love-light seems to play;
The hand we hold clings but to guide us wrong,
The light within the eyes gleams to betray.

We feel a heart beat near our own, close pressed,
We think it echoes back love's secret lore,
But find 't is but a tool -- within the breast --
Of curious mechanism, nothing more.

We listen to soft tones from lips which seem
Too regal even a foe's name to belie;
We drink their freshness, and we fondly dream
That nought can mar our soul's sweet harmony.

E'en as we dream -- forth from the heart's fair gate
Issue barbed words which pierce us through and through,
Whilst we, bewildered, find, even though so late,
This seal of royalty is earthly too.

We place our heart's best treasure, trustingly,
In the safe keeping of a thing of clay;
The trust is broken. Though we do not die,
Our faith in human love shows slow decay.

We tread the earth to find, where'er we roam,
Lips fair but subtle, heart-beats quick but cold;
Lightnings in eyes which only seem love's home,
And treachery even in the hand we hold.

But is this all of friendship, love? Ah, no!
These well-wrought counterfeits from Satan's hand
To me conclusive evidence do show
That the pure coin is still in good demand.

And if we seal our hearts, rolling the stone
Of cold distrust firmly against the door,
The whitest angel near love's pearly throne
Can roll that stone away, ah! nevermore.

So, after all, 't is better that we err
In loving overmuch, though oft deceived,
Than make our heart a sealed sepulchre
From which the angel turns away aggrieved.





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