Madison Julius Cawein

1865-1914

 

At Vespers

by Madison Julius Cawein

High up in the organ-story
A girl stands slim and fair;
And touched with the casement's glory
Gleams out her radiant hair.

The young priest kneels at the altar,
Then lifts the Host above;
And the psalm intoned from the psalter
Is pure with patient love.

A sweet bell chimes; and a censer
Swings gleaming in the gloom;
The candles glimmer and denser
Rolls up the pale perfume.

Then high in the organ choir
A voice of crystal soars,
Of patience and soul's desire,
That suffers and adores.

And out of the altar's dimness
An answering voice doth swell,
Of passion that cries from the grimness
And anguish of its own hell.

High up in the organ-story
One kneels with a girlish grace;
And, touched with the vesper glory,
Lifts her madonna face.

One stands at the cloudy altar,
A form bowed down and thin;
The text of the psalm in the psalter
He reads, is sorrow and sin.

Source:

The Garden Of Dreams
Copyright 1896
John P. Morton & Company, Louisville
 
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