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Crawford, Isabella Valancy (1850-1887)
Joy's City
JOY'S city hath high battlements of gold;
  Joy's city hath her streets of gem-wrought flowers;
She hath her palaces high reared and bold,
  And tender shades of perfumed lily bowers;
But ever day by day, and ever night by night,
An Angel measures still our City of Delight.

He hath a rule of gold, and never stays,
  But ceaseless round the burnished ramparts glides;
He measures minutes of her joyous days,
  Her walls, her trees, the music of her tides,
The roundness of her buds.  Joy's own fair city lies
Known to its heart-core by his stern and thoughtful eyes.

Above the sounds of timbrel and of song,
  Of greeting friends, of lovers 'mid the flowers,
The Angel's voice arises clear and strong:
  "O City, by so many leagues thy bowers
Stretch o'er the plains, and in the fair, high lifted blue
So many cubits rise thy towers beyond the view."

Why dost thou, Angel, measure Joy's fair walls,
  Unceasing gliding by their burnished stones?
Go, rather measure Sorrow's gloomy halls,
  Her cypress bowers, her charnel-house of bones,
Her groans, her tears, the rue in her jet chalices;
But leave unmeasured more Joy's fairy palaces.

The Angel spake:  "Joy hath her limits set,
  But Sorrow hath no bounds; Joy is a guest
Perchance may enter, but no heart pulsed yet
  Where Sorrow did not lay her down to rest;
She hath no city by so many leagues confined;
I cannot measure bounds where there are none to find."
Public Domain