Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
At the Church Gate
By William Makepeace Thackeray
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 bells ring 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 poor 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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