N FT have I seen at some cathedral door

A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat, Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet

Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor
Kneel to repeat his paternoster o'er ;

Far off the noises of the world retreat ;
The loud vociferations of the street

Become an undistinguishable roar.
So, as I enter here from day to day,

And leave my burden at this minster gate,

Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray, The tumult of the time disconsolate

To inarticulate murmurs dies away,
While the eternal ages watch and wait.

L OW strange the sculptures that adorn these towers !

This crowd of statues, in whose folded sleeves
Birds build their nests ; while canopied with leaves

Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers,
And the vast minster seems a cross of Aowers !

But fiends and dragons on the gargoyled eaves
Watch the dead Christ between the living thieves,

And, underneath, the traitor Judas lowers !
Ah! from what agonies of heart and brain,

What exultations trampling on despair,

What tenderness, what tears, what hate of wrong, What passionate outcry of a soul in pain,

Uprose this poem of the earth and air,
This mediæval miracle of song !




M IDWAY upon the journey of our life

I found myself within a forest dark,

For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say

What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,

Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more;

But of the good to treat, which there I found,

Speak will I of the other things I saw there. I cannot well repeat how there I entered,

So full was I of slumber at the moment

In which I had abandoned the true way.
But after I had reached a mountain's foot,

At that point where the valley terminated,
Which had with consternation pierced my heart, 15

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