Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Friar of Orders Gray
By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
“AND whither would you lead me then?”
  Quoth the Friar of orders gray;
And the ruffians twain replied again,
  “By a dying woman to pray.”—
 
“I see,” he said, “a lovely sight,        5
  A sight bodes little harm,
A lady as a lily bright,
  With an infant on her arm.”—
 
“Then do thine office, Friar gray,
  And see thou shrive her free!        10
Else shall the sprite that parts to-night,
  Fling all its guilt on thee.
 
“Let mass be said, and trentals read,
  When thou’rt to convent gone,
And bid the bell of St. Benedict        15
  Toll out its deepest tone.”
 
The shrift is done, the Friar is gone,
  Blindfolded as he came:—
Next morning all, in Littlecot Hall
  Were weeping for their dame.        20
 
Wild Darrell is an altered man,
  The village crones can tell;
He looks pale as clay, and strives to pray,
  If he hears the convent bell.
 
If prince or peer cross Darrell’s way,        25
  He’ll beard him in his pride;—
If he meet a Friar of orders gray,
  He droops and turns aside.
 
 
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