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[50]

Venus Multiformis.

Three men on a broken deck-plank,
With the reef and its roar ahead,
Floated on, through a fair June morning,
To a doom that was sure and dread.

Said one, “My years have been wasted
On a woman's terrible charms;
But oh! to see death draw near me,
And to die outside of her arms!”

Said another, “Through surge and through tempest
My eyes are fixed on her face;
I forget the tumult of ocean
In the joy of her last embrace.”

Said the third, “I can die unflinching
Wherever my fortune lies;
But oh! her endless bereavement,
And the rivers of tears from her eyes!” [51]

While the woman they all had worshipped
Walked out from the gray church-door
Amid smiles and greetings and music,
And followed by prayers of the poor.

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