Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


York Minster

By Robert Leighton (1822–1869)

YORK Minster! what a monument is this

Out of one meek and simple life uprist!

Within these walls what sceptic but needs kiss

Thy garment’s hem, O Christ!

For not on fable, but immortal fact,

Could anything so real be upreared,—

Thy every thought enshrined, thy every act

Re-acted and endeared.

It were enough to glorify thy name,

This one great monument, this single one;

But only think how many such proclaim

God’s best-beloved Son!

The domed cities, and the steepled towns,

The village spires that gleam at morn and even,

The belfry on the bleak unpeopled downs,

Lone hearts, to worship given.

Lord Christ! methinks they challenge and reprove

The warrior’s pillar and the sage’s shrine,

And bid thy weaker brothers look above

To something more divine.