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The Day of Torches.


Keep us, who worship thee,
Within thy sight;
Let us, though in the darkness, see
Thy light.

So the whole city burst into a song
That reached us where we stood upon the hill;
And all the altars smoked with frankincense,
Which sailors, toiling in the eastern seas,
With many weary furrows of the deep,
Had brought unto the praise of Demeter.
And all the day the seven-stringed harp rejoiced,
And the procession passed along the streets,
Even until the darkness covered all,
And wearied with great joy the city slept.


THE sun has slowly sought his resting place,
And the dim twilight of the day has come;
The worshippers assemble in the streets,
Coming from all the by-ways of the town.
The priest is present; every one a torch
Carries on high, and joins the line of light
Moving towards the temple: let us go.
For there is neither song nor choral chant,
Only the solemn sound of many feet
Moving with one accord; and at the head

Slow walks the priest, holding a torch on high.