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The Day of Torches.

At length the long procession reached the place,
Holy to Demeter: then passing on
Through gates and dimly lighted passages,
Until they came unto the central hall,
All set with marble columns, dimly seen,
And here and there a lamp with rosy light
Burning before a statue or a shrine,
Lighting the dimness of the painted walls:
Until the place is full.
All through the night never a voice is heard
In all the echoing passages and halls.
All through the watches of the silent night
The lurid light of many torches shines,
On altar, statue, dimly painted frieze,
Of which the features flicker, hardly seen
In the dim light of torches borne on high.
Still not a word! the watches of the night
Are passing swiftly: and the day is near. ..... ..... ..... Still must they stand,
Waiting and longing for the dawn to come;
For every light burns dimly; and the soul,
Weary of anguish, sickened with the watch.
Paler and paler grows the torch's light,
More and yet more uncertain shew the walls;
And still no sign...
Not from the priest, or from the weary crowd,
But very silence... ...... ...... See! the rosy dawn
Is come at last: the priest has given the sign,
"Depart in peace, the vigil has been watched."