Anthology of Modern Slavonic Literature in Prose and Verse/The Deserted Shrine
THE DESERTED SHRINE.
Christ upon His cross lies in the ancient shrine.
Down His riven limbs blood leaves its clotted trace;
Dead His eyes and pale and lulled, Death's very sign;
Welded silver weaves a halo o'er His face.
Gift of old-time lords and pious populace,
Ducats on His throat, linked as a necklet, shine;
On the frame the purest silver meshes twine,
And the frame was carved by smith of Debar's race.
Thus, amid the lonely church, doth Christ abide,
And while gradual darkness falls on every side,
With a swarm of night-birds, on their prey intent,
In the lonely shrine, where vampires wheel around,
Christ with hands outstretched, benumbed and horror-bound,
Endlessly awaits the flock that ne'er is sent.