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XVIII. The apathy, ere a erime resolved is

done, Is scarce less dreadful than remorse

for crime ;

XXI. Day wore at last; the evening star

arose, And throbbing in the sky grew red

and set ; Then with a guilty, wavering step ho

goes To the hid nook where they so on

had met

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His heart went out within him like a

spark Dropt in the sea; wherever he made

bold Toturn hiseyes, hesaw, all stiffandstark, Pale Margaret lying dead ; the lavish

gold Of her loose hair seemed in the cloudy

dark To spread a glory, and a thousand

Came flocking in the sunburnt peas

antry, And knights and dames with stately

antique cheer, Blazing with pomp, as if all faërie

Had emptied her quaint halls, or, as The illuminated marge of some old book, While we were gazing, life and motion It grew up like a darkness everywhere, Filling the vast cathedral; - sud



it were,

denly, From the dense mass a boy's clear

treble broke Like lightning, and the full-toned choir


XXVIII. When all were entered, and the roving

eyes Of all were stayed, some upon faces

bright, Someonthepriests, some on the traceries That decked the slumber of a marble

knighi, And all the rustlings over that arise

From recognizing tokens of delight, When friendly glances meet,

then silent ease Spread o'er the multitude by slow degrees.

XXIX. Then swelled the organ: up through

choir and nave The music trembled with an inward

thrill Of bliss at its own grandeur: wave on

wave Its flood of mellow thunder rose, until The hushed air shivered with the throb


gave, Then, poising for a moment, it stood

still, And sankand roseagain, to burstinspray That wandered into silence far away.

XXXII. Through gorgeous windows shone the

sun aslant, Brimming the church with gold and

purple mist, Meet atmosphere to bosom that rich

chant, Where fifty voices in one strand did

twist, Their varicolored tones, and left no want To the delighted soul, which sank

abyssed In the warm music cloud, while, far

below, The organ heaved its surges to and fro.

its song,


Like to a mighty heart the music seemed, That yearns with melodies it cannot

speak, Until, in grand despair of what it

dreamed, In the agony of effort it doth break, Yet triumphs breaking; on it rushed

and streamed And wantoned in its might, as when

a lake, Long pent among the mountains, bursts

its walls And in one crowding gush leaps forth

and falls.

XXXIII. As if a lark should suddenly drop dead

While the blue air yet trembled with So snapped at once that music's golden

thread, Struck by a nameless fear that leapi

along From heart to heart, and like a shadow

spread With instantaneous shiver through

the throng, So that some glanced behind, as half

aware A hideous shape of dread were stand

ing there.

XXXI. Deeper and deeper shudders shook the

air, As the huge bass kept gathering

heavily, Like thunder when it rouses in its lair, And with its hoarse growl shakes the

low-hung sky,

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XXXVII. Nothing they saw, but a low voice was

heard Threading the ominous silence of

that fear, Gentle and terrorless as if a bird, Wakened by some volcano's glare,

should cheer The murk air with his song; yet every

word Inthecathedral's farthestarch seemed

near, As if it spoke to every one apart, Like the clear voice of conscience in

each heart.

“This little spirit with imploring eyes Wanders alone the dreary wild of

space ; The shadow of his pain forever lies Upon my soul in this new dwelling

place; His loneliness makes me in Paradise More lonely, and, unless I see hiş

face, Even here for grief could I lie down

and die, Save for my curse of immortality.

XLI. World after world he sees around him

swim Crowded with happy souls, that take Like a robbed bird that cries in vain to

no heed

bring Her nestlings back beneath her wings'

embrace ; But still he answers not, and I but know That Heaven and earth are both alike

in woe."

him ;

Of the sad eyes that from the night's

faint rim Gaze sick with longing on them as

they speed With golden gates, that only shut out And shapes sometimes from Hell's

abysses freed Flap darkly by him, with enormous

sweep Of wings that roughen wide the pitchy deep.

XLII. “I am a mother, — spirits do not shake This much of earth from them,

and I must pine Till I can feel his little hands, and take

His weary head upon this heart of And, might it be, full gladly for his

sake Would I this solitude of bliss resign, And be shut out of Heaven to dwell

with him Forever in that silence drear and dim.

XLV. Then the pale priests, with ceremony

due, Baptized the child within its dread

ful tomb Beneath that mother's heart, whose in

stinct true Star-like bad battled dowo the triple

gloom Of sorrow, love, and death: young

maidens, too, Strewed the pale corpse with many

a milkwhite bloom, And parted the bright hair, and on the

breast Crossed the unconscious hands in sign

of rest,

mine ;

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XLIV. “I sit and weep while blessed spirits

sing: I can but long and pine the while they

praise, And, leaning o'er the wall of Heaven,

I fling My voice to where I deem my ir.fant


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