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All speaks a race that nobly, fearlessly
On their heart's worship pour'd a wealth of love!
Honour be with the dead! The people kneel
Under the helms of antique chivalry,
And in the crimson gloom from banners thrown,
And mid the forms, in pale proud slumber carved,
Of warriors on their tombs. The people kneel
Where the high anthems of old victories
Have made the dust give echoes. Hence vain thoughts !
Memories of power and pride, which, long ago,
Like dim processions of a dream, have sunk
In twilight-depths away. Return, my soul !
The cross recalls thee. Lo! the blessed cross,
Fix'd in its meek and still supremacy!
And lo! the throng of beating human hearts,
With all their secret scrolls of buried grief,
All their full treasuries of immortal hope,
Gather'd before their God! Hark how the flood
Of the rich organ-harmony bears up
Their voice on its high waves! a mighty burst !
A forest-sounding music! ..
And the old Minster,-forest-like itself,
With its long avenues of pillar'd shade,
Seems quivering all with spirit, as that strain
O’erflows its dim recesses, leaving not
One tomb unthrill’d by the strong sympathy
Answering the electric notes. Join, join, my soul,
In thine own lowly, trembling consciousness ;
And thine own solitude, the glorious hymn !"
The following beautiful lines attest the impression which a view of this magnificent Minster produced upon the gifted mind of another of England's poetesses, – the late L. E. L.
Built in far other times, those sculptur'd walls
Attest the faith which our forefathers felt;
Strong faith, whose visible presence yet remains !
pray with deeper reverence at a shrine
Hallow'd by many prayers. For years, long years,
Years that make centuries—those dim-lit aisles,
Where rainbows play, from colour'd windows flung,
Have echo'd to the voice of prayer and praise ;
With the last lights of evening flitting round,
Making a rosy atmosphere of hope,
The vesper-hymn has risen, nearing heaven,
And purified from all the cares of earth;
How oft hath music rock'd those ancient towers,
When the deep bells were tolling ! as they rang,
The castle, and the hamlet, high and low,
Obey'd the summons; earth grew nigh to God.
The piety of ages is around;
Many the heart that has before yon cross
Laid down the burden of its heavy cares,
And felt a joy that is not of this world.
There are both sympathy and warning here;
Methinks as down we kneel by those old graves,
The past will pray with us.
He cannot hear the skylark sing,
The music of the wild bee's wing,
The murmur of the plaining bough,
A gentle whisper fairy-low,
The noise of falling waters near-
All these have left his mournful ear.
sad, sad silence, whose worst power
Is felt in others' gladdest hour.
But, ah! to what can it not move,
Th' unconquerable strength of love !
See how he bends above the page,
For him—the child of his old age.
The ear is deaf, the eye is dim,
Yet anxious and alive for him.
How deep and tender is the debt,
Whose seal on that young heart is set;
Little, perchance, may be the aid,
Not so the fondness which essay'd
To help amid this learned coil,
And smooth the youthful student's toil.
Mid all the sorrow and the crime,
Man's destiny from earliest time;
Mid all that can debase, degrade,
How beautiful this earth is made
By pure affection, deep and dear-
Affection like that pictured here !