Stops of Various Quills/Equality

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Equality by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 083 large a.jpg



EQUALITY


THE beautiful dancing-women wove their maze, 
 With many a swift lascivious leer and lure
For the hot theatre, whose myriad gaze
 Burned on their shamelessness with eyes impure.

Then one that watched unseen among them—dread,
Mystical, ineffable of presence—said,
"Patience! And leave me these poor wanton ones:
Soon they shall lie as meek and cold as nuns;
And you that hire them here to tempt your lust
Shall be as all the saints are, in the dust."