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"But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high-embowèd roof,
With antique pillars massy-proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light."


The stately Thames rolls on his silver tide

By many a wave-worn wharf and jutting quay, While laden ships pass by in kingly pride, And bear their costly cargoes to the sea.

The mighty city's many arteries

Throb with the surging stream of human life, The mingled sounds of many voices rise, The hum of busy never-ending strife.

But here is peace. The wearied soul may find

Within these sacred doors a safe retreat, Leave the mad turmoil of the crowd behind, Forget the roar and hubbub of the street.

We enter. O’er the heart there steals a sense

Of sacred harmony and calm repose, All trivial thoughts and cares are banished hence,

And fancy's self with softened lustre glows.

The shadows deepen in the ancient fane,

As slow the pallid winter's day declines, And dimly through the crimson shaded pane

The mellow light in dying radiance shines.

The golden glory of the evening sun

Streams through the western window's airy height, And like a fairy fabric, fancy spun,

The woven tracery intercepts the light.

Here wandering contemplation may behold

Art's varied forms in wild profusion spread, And muse on the magnificence of old,

The vast memorials of the mighty dead.

The wonder-ravished eye may fondly trace

Fresh loveliness adorning every part, Each feature with its own peculiar grace,

The rich complexity of Gothic art.

The dim perspective of the mighty pile,

The floor inlaid with monumental brass,
The high pitched roof, the many pillared aisle,

The checquered blazon of the storied glass,

The fretted vaulting, intricately crossed,

Re-echoing the swelling organ's roll, The endless beauties, in the distance lost,

Combine in one harmonious perfect whole.

Within the precincts of this hallowed ground

Are buried England's bravest and her best, The countless monuments that rise around

Shew where illustrious bones are laid to rest.

Here lie the hands that held the poet's pen,

Hearts that with raptures high were wont to thrill, Tongues that had power to move the minds of men,

And bend attentive nations to their will.

Some born to greatness, some who all alone

Have trod the long and steep ascent to fame, Others who sleep forgotten and unknown,

Commemorated only by a name.

Beneath this lettered marble Chaucer lies,

To him must everlasting praise belong,
Who taught a crude unpolished tongue to rise

To lofty unattempted realms of song.


yon dim shrine repose a monarch's bones,

Who in the bloom of youth resigned his breath, Above, a canopy of carven stones,

Below, the mouldering dust, the dust of Death !

He came in princely pride, with hopeful tread,

Of life's long year he only felt the spring, The crown was placed upon his youthful head

He passed from out the sacred doors-a king.

He came again, yet not as erst he came,

Not borne in glad procession through the crowd, An ice-cold hand had quenched life's fitful flame,

His throne, a bier, his robe of state, a shroud.

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