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Yet oft withdrew, alone and unobserved,
There would I linger- then go forth again;
The time has been,
Then were the nations by her wisdom swayed ; And every crime on every sea was judged According to her judgments. In her port Prows, strange, uncouth, from NILE and Niger met, People of various feature, various speech ; And in their countries many a house of prayer, And many a shelter, where no shelter was, And many a well, like Jacob's in the wild, Rose at her bidding. Then in PALESTINE, By the way-side, in sober grandeur stood A hospital, that, night and day, received The pilgrims of the west; and, when 't was asked,
"Who are the noble founders ?” every tongue
For three hundred years
They are now forgot, And with them all they did, all they endured, Struggling with fortune. When SICARDI stood On his high deck, his falchion in his hand, And, with a shout like thunder, cried, “Come forth, And serve me in SALERNO!” forth they came, Covering the sea, a mournful spectacle; The women wailing, and the heavy oar Falling unheard. Not thus did they return,
The tyrant slain; though then the grass of years
There now to him who sails
A lonely watch-tower on the precipice,
“What hangs behind that curtain ???325. “Wouldst thou
'Tis in an ancient record of the house ; And may it make thee tremble, lest thou fall! Once - on a Christmas-eve
ere yet the roof Rung with the hymn of the Nativity, There came a stranger to the convent-gate, And asked admittance; ever and anon, As if he sought what most he feared to find, Looking behind him. When within the walls, These walls so sacred and inviolate, Still did he look behind him; oft and long, With curling, quivering lip and haggard eye, Catching at vacancy. Between the fits, For here, 't is said, he lingered while he lived, He would discourse, and with a mastery, A charm by none resisted, none explained, Unfelt before; but when his cheek grew pale (Nor was the respite longer, if so long, Than while a shepherd in the vale below Counts, as he folds, five hundred of his flock), All was forgotten. Then, howe'er employed, He would break off and start as if he caught A glimpse of something that would not be gone; And turn and gaze and shrink into himself, As though the fiend were there, and, face to face, Scowled o'er his shoulder.
Most devout he was; Most unremitting in the services; Then, only then, untroubled, unassailed; And, to beguile a melancholy hour, Would sometimes exercise that noble art He learnt in FLORENCE ; with a master's hand, As to this day the sacristy attests, Painting the wonders of the APOCALYPSE.
At length he sunk to rest, and in his cell Left, when he went, a work in secret done, The portrait, for a portrait it must be, That hangs behind the curtain. Whence he drew, None here can doubt; for they that come to catch The faintest glimpse — to catch it and be gone — Gaze as he gazed, then shrink into themselves, Acting the self-same part. But why 't was drawn, Whether, in penance, to atone for guilt, Or to record the anguish guilt inflicts, Or, haply, to familiarize his mind With what he could not fly from, none can say, For none could learn the burden of his soul.”
It was a harper, wandering with his harp,
But the child Wa as worn with travel.
Ileavy sleep weighed down