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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
At the Church Gate
By William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)
 
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 hushed 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 hither,        15
With modest eyes downcast;
She comes—she’s here—she’s past—
  May heaven go with her!
 
Kneel undisturbed, 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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