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The common crowd but see the gloom
875 The roofless cot, decay'd and rent,
Will scarce delay the passer by; The tower by war or tempest bent, While yet may frown one battlement,
Demands and daunts the stranger's eye; 880 Each ivied arch, and pillar lone, Pleads haughtily for glories gone!
“ His floating robe around him folding,
“ Slow sweeps he through the column'd aisle; “ With dread beheld, with gloom beholding 885
“ The rites that sanctify the pile. 6. But when the anthem shakes the choir, “ And kneel the monks, his steps retire;
By yonder lone and wavering torch “ His aspect glares within the porch;
890 " There will he pause till all is done* And hear the prayer, but utter none.
“ See-by the half-illumined wall “ His hood fly back, his dark hair fall, “ That pale brow wildly wreathing round, 895 “ As if the Gorgon there had bound “ The sablest of the serpent-braid “ That o'er her fearful forehead stray'd: “ For he declines the convent oath,
And leaves those locks unhallow'd growth, 900 “ But wears our garb in all beside; “ And, not from piety but pride, “ Gives wealth to walls that never heard « Of his one holy vow nor word. “ Lo!-mark ye, as the harmony
905 6 Peals louder praises to the sky, 66 That livid cheek, that stony air 66 Of mix'd defiance and despair! “ Saint Francis, keep him from the shrine ! “ Else may we dread the wrath divine 910 “ Made manifest by awful sign. “ If ever evil angel bore 6. The form of mortal, such he wore: " By all my hope of sins forgiven, « Such looks are not of earth nor heaven!" 915 To love the softest hearts are prone, But such can ne'er be all his own; Too timid in his woes to share, Too meek to meet, or brave despair ; And sterner hearts alone may feel
920 The wound that time can never heal.
The rugged metal of the mine
If solitude succeed to grief,
And shudder, as the reptiles creep
Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream
To still her famish'd nestlings' scream, Nor mourns a life to them transferr'd, Should rend her rash devoted breast, And find them flown her empty nest. The keenest pangs the wretched find
Are rapture to the dreary void,
The waste of feelings unemploy'd.
“ Father! thy days have pass'd in peace,
“ 'Mid counted beads, and countless prayer; “ To bid the sins of others cease,
“ Thyself without a crime or care,
6 Save transient ills that all must bear,
975 “ Has been thy lot from youth to age; " And thou wilt bless thee from the rage « Of passions fierce and uncontrolld, 6 Such as thy penitents unfold, 6 Whose secret sins and sorrows rest
980 “ Within thy pure and pitying breast. “ My days, though few, have pass'd below “ In much of joy, but more of wo; “ Yet still in hours of love or strife, “ I've ’scaped the weariness of life:
985 “ Now leagued with friends, now girt by foes, 6. I loathed the languor of repose. “ Now nothing left to love or hate, “ No more with hope or pride elate, “ I'd rather be the thing that crawls
990 “ Most noxious o’er a dungeon's walls, * Than pass my dull, unvarying days, “ Condemn’d to meditate and gaze.
Yet, lurks a wish within my breast “ For rest-but not to feel 'tis rest.
995 “ Soon shall my fate that wish fulfil ;
" And I shall sleep without the dream “ Of what I was, and would be still,
" Dark as to thee my deeds may seem: My memory now is but the tomb
1000 “ Of joys long dead; my hope, their doom: “ Though better to have died with those “ Than bear a life of lingering woes.