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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Amenophis and Other Poems (1892). II. An Incident at Mendrisio

Francis Turner Palgrave (1824–1897)

April 23, 1886

IT was the Day, the sad, the good,

The Day thrice-blest, when He,

The Love uniting God with Man,

Hung on the Tree:—

And where within the transept wide

A vacant space was made,

With reverent touch the village hands

His Image laid;

Not such as old Donato wrought:

Yet this rude craftsman’s heart

With deeper passion stamp’d the wood

Than finer art.

And all the Italian throng was there,

Bronze-wrinkled crone, and maid,

Fathers with sons; the lame, the blind,

Where Christ was laid.

They knelt for prayer; they kiss’d for love

Their Saviour’s riven Side,

The Hands, the Feet, the bleeding Heart

For us Who died.

But in the throng what part has she,

The little maiden sweet,

Who climbs and trembles to the Cross

With fervent feet?

Like her, the Blessèd Virgin Child

Who clomb the Temple-stair,

God given, given back to God,

Pure, sacred, fair.

—With kisses fast and close, herself

Upon the Face she throws;

The innocent breath with love is warm,

Sweet as the rose.

Ah, darling! though thine infant heart

Outrun thy knowledge dim,

E’en on God’s throne that eager love

Is dear to Him.