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Who in the midst in solemn state appeared,
With high, pale forehead, and a curled black beard.
The church was reached; the holy hymn was

And to the roof a thousand tapers blazed ;
Priests robed in white received him at the door,
And turbaned foreheads touched the marble floor.

l'pon his throne the patriarch took his seat, In silken vesture flowing to his feet, Wrought in rich needlework with gold and gem, Of pictured saints embroidered round the hem. Lights beamed; the censer's silver chains were

swayed, And clouds of incense every hand obeyed. The Bishop rose, and o'er the kneeling crowd Thrice waved the rood, and blessing spake aloud. Again hymns pealed, and incense warm and rich In cloudy volumes veiled each sainted niche. The Bishop rose; the pictured saints were kissed, And from the door the people were dismissed.

The Bishop was installed ; the golden sun Blazoned the purple sea, and day was done.

The butterfly went fitting by,

The bees were in the flowers ;
But the little child sate steadfastly,

As she had sate for hours.
Why sit you here, my little maid ?”

An aged pilgrim spake;
The child look'd upward from her book,

Like one but just awake.
Back sell her locks of golden hair,

And solemn was her look,
As thus she answer'd, witlessly,

"Oh, sir, I read this book!"

" And what is there within that book

To win a child like thee?Up! join thy mates, the merry birds,

And frolic with the bee!"


"Nay, sir, I cannot leave this book,

I love it more than play ;-
I've read all legends, but this one

Ne'er saw I till this day.
"And there is something in this book

That makes all care be gone.And yet I weep, I know not why,

As I go reading on!" “Who art thou, child, that thou shouldst read

A book with mickle heed ? -
Books are for clerks — the King himself

Hath much ado to read!" “My father is a forester

A bowman keen and good;
He keeps the deer within their bound,

And worketh in the wood.


A LITTLE child she read a book

Beside an open door ; And, as she read page after page,

She wonder'd more and more.

Her little finger carefully

Went pointing out the place;Her golden locks hung drooping down,

And shadow'd half her face.

“My mother died in Candlemas,

The flowers are all in blow Upon her grave at Allonby

Down in the dale below."

The open book lay on her knee,

Her eyes on it were bent; And as she read page after page,

The colour came and went.

She sate upon a mossy stone

An open door beside; And round, for miles on every hand,

Stretch'd out a forest wide.

T'he summer sun shone on the trees,

The deer lay in the shade; And overhead the singing birds

Their pleasant clamour made.

This said, unto her book she turn'd,

As steadfast as before; “ Nay," said the pilgrim, “nay, not yet,

And you must tell me more. “Who was it taught you thus to read ?"

“Ah, sir, it was my mother, She taught me both to read and spell

And so she taught my brother; “My brother dwells at Allonby

With the good monks alway; – And this new book he brought to me,

But only for one day. “Oh, sir, it is a wondrous book,

Better than Charlemagne,And, be you pleased to leave me now,

I'll read in it again!"
“ Nay, read to me," the pilgrim said;

And the little child went on,
To read of Christ, as was set forth
In the Gospel of St. John.

There was no garden round the house,

And it was low and small,-
The forest sward grew to the door ;

The lichens on the wall.

There was no garden round about,

Yet flowers were growing free, The cowslip and the daffodil,

Ipon the forest-lea.

Nor did he raise his head Until he every written page

Within the book had read.

Then came the sturdy forester

Along the homeward track, Whistling aloud a hunting tune,

With a slain deer on his back.

Loud greeting gave the forester

Unto the pilgrim poor; The old man rose with thoughtful brow,

And enter'd at the door.

On, on she read, and gentle tears

Adown her cheeks did slide;
The pilgrim sale, with bended head,

And he wept at her side. "I've heard,” said he, “the Archbishop,

I've heard the Pope of Rome, But never did their spoken words

Thus to my spirit come! “The book, it is a blessed book!

Its name, what may it be?
Said she, “ They are the words of CHRIST

That I have read to thee;
Now done into the English tongue

For folks unlearn'd as we!"
“ Sancta Maria !" said the man,

Our canons have decreed That this is an unholy book

For simple folk to read!
“Sancta Maria! Bless'd be God!

Had this good book been mine,
I need not have gone on pilgrimage

To holy Palestine !
"Give me the book, and let me read!

My soul is strangely stirr'd ;-
They are such words of love and truth

As ne'er before I heard !"

The two had sate them down to meat,

And the pilgrim 'gan to tell How he had eaten on Olivet,

And drank at Jacob's well.

And then he told how he had krelt

Where'er our Lord had pray'd; How he had in the Garden been,

And the tomb where he was laid ; –

The little girl gave up the book,

And the pilgrim, old and brown, With reverent lips did kiss the page,

Then on the stone sat down.

And aye he read page after page ;

Page after page he turn'd; And as he read their blessed words

His heart within him burn'd.

And then he turn'd unto the book,

And read, in English plain,
How Christ had died on Calvary ;

How he had risen again;
And all his comfortable words,

His deeds of mercy all,
He read, and of the widow's mito,

And the poor prodigal.
As water to the parched soil,

As to the hungry, bread,
So fell upon the woodman's soul

Each word the pilgrim read.
Thus through the midnight did they read,

Until the dawn of day;
And then came in the woodman's son

To fetch the book away.
All quick and troubled was his speech,

His face was pale with dread,
For he said, “The King hath made a law

That the book must not be read, For it was such a fearful heresy, The holy Abbot said."


Still, still the book the old man read,

As he would ne'er have done;
From the hour of noon he read the book,

Unto the set of sun.
The little child she brought him out

A cake of wheaten bread;
But it lay unbroke at eventide;

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