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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Via Sacra

By Charles Anderson Dana (1819–1897)

SLOWLY along the crowded street I go,

Marking with reverent look each passer’s face;

Seeking, and not in vain, in each to trace

That primal soul whereof he is the show.

For here still move, by many eyes unseen,

The blessed gods that erst Olympus kept:

Through every guise these lofty forms serene

Declare the all-holding life hath never slept,

But known each thrill that in man’s heart hath been,

And every tear that his sad eyes have wept.

Alas for us! the heavenly visitants,—

We greet them still as most unwelcome guests,

Answering their smile with hateful looks askance,

Their sacred speech with foolish bitter jests.

But oh! what is it to imperial Jove

That this poor world refuses all his love!