Page:Poet Lore, At the Chasm, volume 24, 1913.pdf/31

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And the poppy, very careful
Of the satin of her petals,
Peeps among the sharp and prickly
Labyrinth of thorny bushes.
Yes, the flowers their mass are holding!
There is likewise a procession:
'Tis a swarm of iridescent,
Restless dragon-flies that wander!
All the herbage, green and tiny,
Bows—the birds officiating.
No, the church is not deserted;
Worshipers are still within it!
Sadness finds its consolation,
And that dark, gigantic ruin,
Full of ancient memories mournful
And of solitude unending,
Meditates:—Yes, thou, O Nature!
Art a mother, a good mother!


But how sad, O ruined temple!
Thou at eventide appearest,
When the birds are hushed in slumber,
When the flowers have closed their petals,
And the sable parasitic
Plants upon the domes upgrowing
Paint themselves against the sunset,
Straight, immovable, far-branching,
Looking like the plumes funereal
Shadowing the helms of giants!
Faint and long and horizontal,
Spent and weary with its journey,
Gleaming like a golden arrow,
Comes to fasten for a moment
On the cross above the belfry
That spreads wide its arms to heaven,
One pale sunbeam, the last breathing
Of the light about to perish.
Come again, as always, Darkness,
Cold, impalpable and stealthy,
Thou the silent, thou the soundless,