To some ladies who refute a penitent's worth

It is not enough that God in His Book
Pardons the penitent who make amends
With sincerity and virtue intends,
They would not call him husband — but a crook.
Let no man who looked in a woman’s face
And fell victim then and there to passion
(A kiss, perhaps) expect from them compassion:
He has forever fallen from their grace.
All men should be like Joseph, yet are not;
And there is wisdom in the fault that turns
The heart to humility and well learns
The weight of remorse, a lesson they forgot:
If Heaven’s Gate for him unlocked and Paradise was spread
These untouched veiled saints would still refuse the penitent to wed.

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This entry was posted in Sonnets.

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