Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
At the Church Gate
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–63)
ALTHOUGH I enter not,
Yet round about the spot
    Ofttimes I hover;
And near the sacred gate,
With longing eyes I wait,        5
    Expectant of her.
The minster bell tolls out
Above the city’s rout,
    And noise and humming;
They ’ve hush’d the minster bell:        10
The organ ’gins to swell;
    She ’s coming, she ’s coming!
My lady comes at last,
Timid and stepping fast
    And hastening thither,        15
With modest eyes downcast;
She comes—she ’s here, she ’s past!
    May heaven go with her!
Kneel undisturb’d, fair saint!
Pour out your praise or plaint        20
    Meekly and duly;
I will not enter there,
To sully your pure prayer
    With thoughts unruly.
But suffer me to pace        25
Round the forbidden place,
    Lingering a minute,
Like outcast spirits, who wait,
And see, through heaven’s gate,
    Angels within it.        30


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