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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Tales of a Wayside Inn

Part First. Interlude

HE ended: and a kind of spell

Upon the silent listeners fell.

His solemn manner and his words

Had touched the deep, mysterious chords

That vibrate in each human breast

Alike, but not alike confessed.

The spiritual world seemed near;

And close above them, full of fear,

Its awful adumbration passed,

A luminous shadow, vague and vast.

They almost feared to look, lest there,

Embodied from the impalpable air,

They might behold the Angel stand,

Holding the sword in his right hand.

At last, but in a voice subdued,

Not to disturb their dreamy mood,

Said the sicilian: “While you spoke,

Telling your legend marvellous,

Suddenly in my memory woke

The thought of one, now gone from us,—

An old Abate, meek and mild,

My friend and teacher, when a child,

Who sometimes in those days of old

The legend of an Angel told,

Which ran, as I remember thus.”