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Who in the midst in solemn state appeared,
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 ;
As she had sate for hours.
An aged pilgrim spake;
Like one but just awake.
And solemn was her look,
"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!"
A FOREST SCENE
"Nay, sir, I cannot leave this book,
I love it more than play ;-
Ne'er saw I till this day.
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 ? -
Hath much ado to read!" “My father is a forester
A bowman keen and good;
And worketh in the wood.
IN THE DAYS OF WICKLIFFE.
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!"
And the little child went on,
There was no garden round the house,
And it was low and small,-
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;
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?
That I have read to thee;
For folks unlearn'd as we!"
Our canons have decreed That this is an unholy book
For simple folk to read!
Had this good book been mine,
To holy Palestine !
My soul is strangely stirr'd ;-
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 he had risen again;
His deeds of mercy all,
And the poor prodigal.
As to the hungry, bread,
Each word the pilgrim read.
Until the dawn of day;
To fetch the book away.
His face was pale with dread,
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;
Unto the set of sun.
A cake of wheaten bread;