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Mona Lisa

Edith Wharton 1862 (New York City) – 1937 (Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt)



Yon strange blue city crowns a scarped steep
No mortal foot hath bloodlessly essayed:
Dreams and illusions beacon from its keep.
But at the gate an Angel bares his blade;
And tales are told of those who thought to gain
At dawn its ramparts; but when evening fell
Far off they saw each fading pinnacle
Lit with wild lightnings from the heaven of pain;
Yet there two souls, whom life’s perversities
Had mocked with want in plenty, tears in mirth,
Might meet in dreams, ungarmented of earth,
And drain Joy’s awful chalice to the lees.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (born Edith Newbold Jones) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Wharton drew upon her insider's knowledge of the upper class New York "aristocracy" to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age. In 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996. more…

All Edith Wharton poems | Edith Wharton Books

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