Duty

By George Sterling

White on its road we saw her chariot shine,
  And she, unturning, passed with lifted gaze,
  As Pleasure stood in arrogant amaze
And looked in question on his scorned wine;
Love from her steeds leapt back with frightened eyne,
  Indignant, splendid, and the hostile blaze
  Of Pain's effulgence from his hidden ways
Seemed but her beacon to a goal divine.

Then fell intensest shadow on her path,
  Whereat one cried, "Behold! the sword of Death!
Shall mortal face unfaltering the Wrath?"
    And silence held our multitude. But she
  Passed on as a thing of spectral breath,—
    A fantasy that was not nor could be.

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