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Matthew Arnold (1822–88). The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867. 1909.

Poems; A New Edition. 1853

The Church of Brou. II. The Church

UPON the glistening leaden roof

Of the new Pile, the sunlight shines.

The stream goes leaping by.

The hills are cloth’d with pines sun-proof.

Mid bright green fields, below the pines,

Stands the Church on high.

What Church is this, from men aloof?

’Tis the Church of Brou.

At sunrise, from their dewy lair

Crossing the stream, the kine are seen

Round the wall to stray;

The churchyard wall that clips the square

Of shaven hill-sward trim and green

Where last year they lay.

But all things now are order’d fair

Round the Church of Brou.

On Sundays, at the matin chime,

The Alpine peasants, two and three,

Climb up here to pray.

Burghers and dames, at summer’s prime,

Ride out to church from Chambery,

Dight with mantles gay.

But else it is a lonely time

Round the Church of Brou.

On Sundays, too, a priest doth come

From the wall’d town beyond the pass,

Down the mountain way.

And then you hear the organ’s hum,

You hear the white-rob’d priest say mass,

And the people pray.

But else the woods and fields are dumb

Round the Church of Brou.

And after church, when mass is done,

The people to the nave repair

Round the Tomb to stray.

And marvel at the Forms of stone,

And praise the chisell’d broideries rare.

Then they drop away.

The Princely Pair are left alone

In the Church of Brou.