Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
The Shrine

Digby Mackworth Dolben (1848–1867)
I enter—all is simply fair,
THERE 1 is a shrine whose golden gate
  Was opened by the Hand of God;
It stands serene, inviolate,
  Though millions have its pavement trod;
As fresh, as when the first sunrise        5
Awoke the lark in Paradise.
’Tis compassed with the dust and toil
  Of common days, yet should there fall
A single speck, a single soil
  Upon the whiteness of its wall,        10
The angels’ tears in tender rain
Would make the temple theirs again.
Without, the world is tired and old,
  But, once within the enchanted door,
The mists of time are backward rolled,        15
  And creeds and ages are no more;
But all the human-hearted meet
In one communion vast and sweet.
  Nor incense-clouds, nor carven throne;
But in the fragrant morning air
  A gentle lady sits alone;
My mother—ah! whom should I see
Within, save ever only thee?        25
Note 1. Dolben. The Shrine. [back]

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