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Think ye the desolate must live apart,
By solemn vows to convent-walls confined?
Ah! no; with men may dwell the cloistered heart,
And in a crowd the isolated mind:

Tearless behind the prison-bars of fate,
The world sees not how desolate they stand,
Gazing so fondly through the iron grate
Upon the promised yet forbidden land;

Patience, the shrine to which their bleeding feet
Day after day in voiceless penance turn;
Silence, the holy cell and calm retreat,

In which unseem their meek devotions burn:
Life is to them a vigil, which none share,
Theire hopes a sacrifice, their love a prayer.

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