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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

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A pool of broken sunbeams lay

  Upon the passage-floor, Radiant and rich, profound and gay

  As ever diamond bore.

Small, flitting hands a handkerchief

  Spread like a cunning trap: Prone lay the gorgeous jewel-sheaf

  In the glory-gleaner's lap!

Deftly she folded up the prize,

  With lovely avarice; Like one whom having had made wise,

  She bore it off in bliss.

But ah, when for her prisoned gems

  She peeped, to prove them there, No glories broken from their stems

  Lay in the kerchief bare!

For still, outside the nursery door,

  The bright persistency, A molten diadem on the floor,

  Lay burning wondrously.

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