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I say,

Which few can reach to. Yet I do not say
But that a time may come yea, even now,
Now, now, his footsteps smite the threshold stairs
Of life

that time is at the doors
When you may worship me without reproach;
For I will leave my relics in your land,
And you may carve a shrine about my dust,
And burn a fragrant lamp before my bones,
When I am gather'd to the glorious saints.

While I spake then, a sting of shrewdest pain
Ran shrivelling thro' me, and a cloudlike change,
In passing, with a grosser film made thick
These heavy, horny eyes. The end! the end !
Surely the end! What's here? a shape, a shade,
A flash of light. Is that the angel there
That holds a crown? Come, blessed mother, come.
I know thy glittering face. I waited long;
My brows are ready. What! deny it now?
Nay, draw, draw, draw nigh. So I clutch it. Christ!
'Tis gone : 'tis here again ; the crown! the crown!
So now 'tis fitted on and grows to me,
And from it melt the dews of Paradise,

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Sweet! sweet! spikenard, and balm, and frankincense.
Ah ! let me not be fool'd, sweet saints. I trust
That I am whole, and clean, and meet for Heaven.
Speak, if there be a priest, a man of God,
Among you there, and let him presently
Approach, and lean a ladder on the shaft,
And climbing up into mine airy home,
Deliver me the blessed sacrament;
For by the warning of the Holy Ghost,
I prophesy that I shall die to-night,
A quarter before twelve.

But thou, O Lord,
Aid all this foolish people ; let them take
Example, pattern : lead them to thy light.



Once more the gate behind me falls ; Once more before


face I see the moulder'd Abbey-walls,

That stand within the chace.


Beyond the lodge the city lies,

Beneath its drift of smoke ;
And ah! with what delighted eyes

I turn to yonder oak.


For when my passion first began,

Ere that, which in me burn'd, The love, that makes me thrice a man,

Could hope itself return'd;


To yonder oak within the field

I spoke without restraint,
And with a larger faith appeal'd

Than Papist unto Saint.


For oft I talk'd with him apart,

And told him of my choice,
Until he plagiarised a heart,

And answer'd with a voice.


Tho' what he whisper'd under Heaven

None else could understand ;

I found him garrulously given,

A babbler in the land.


But since I heard him make reply

many a weary hour;
"Twere well to question him, and try

If yet he keeps the power.

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Hail, hidden to the knees in fern,

Broad Oak of Sumner-chace, Whose topmost branches can discern

The roofs of Sumner-place!


Say thou, whereon I carved her name,

If ever maid or spouse, As fair as my Olivia, came

To rest beneath thy boughs.


“O Walter, I have shelter'd here

Whatever maiden grace The good old Summers, year by year,

Made ripe in Sumner-chace :


" Old Summers, when the monk was fat,

And, issuing shorn and sleek, Would twist his girdle tight, and pat

The girls upon the cheek,

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