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And thus was she buried, inviolate

Of body and soul, in the very space By the altar; keeping saintly state

In Pornic church, for her pride of race, Pure life, and piteous fate.

12. And in after-time would your fresh tear fall,

Though your mouth might twitch with a dubious smile, As they told you of gold both robe and pall,

How she prayed them leave it alone awhile, So it never was touched at all.

13. Years flew; this legend grew at last

The life of the lady; all she had done, All been, in the memories fading fast

Of lover and friend, was summed in one Sentence survivors passed :


To wit, she was meant for Heaven, not earth;

Had turned an angel before the time:
Yet, since she was mortal, in such dearth

Of frailty, all you could count a crime
Was—she knew her gold hair's worth.


At little pleasant Pornic church,

It chanced, the pavement wanted repair, Was taken to pieces : left in the lurch,

A certain sacred space lay bare, And the boys began research.

'Twas the space where our sires would lay a saint,

A benefactor,—a bishop, suppose;
A baron with armour-adornments quaint;

A dame with chased ring and jewelled rose,
Things sanctity saves from taint:

17. So we come to find them in after-days

When the corpse is presumed to have done with gauds Of use to the living, in many ways;

For the boys get pelf, and the town applauds, And the church deserves the praise.


They grubbed with a will: and at length— cor

Humanum, pectora cæca, and the rest ! They found—no gauds they were prying for,

No ring, no rose, but—who would have guessed ?A double Louis-d'or!


Here was a case for the priest: he heard,

Marked, inwardly digested, laid Finger on nose, smiled, “ A little bird

Chirps in my ear:" then, “ Bring a spade, Dig deeper!"—he gave the word.

20. And lo! when they came to the coffin-lid,

Or the rotten planks which composed it once, Why, there lay the girl's skull wedged amid

A mint of money, it served for the nonce To hold in its hair-heaps hid.


Louis-d’ors, some six times five;

And duly double, every piece.
Now, do you see? With the priest to shrive,

With parents preventing her soul's release
By kisses that keep alive, -


With Heaven's gold gates about to ope,

With friends' praise, gold-like, lingering still, What instinct had bidden the girl's hand grope

For gold, the true sort—“Gold in Heaven, I hope; But I keep earth's, if God will !"

23. Enough! The priest took the grave's grim yield:

The parents, they eyed that price of sin As if thirty pieces lay revealed

On the place to bury strangers in, The hideous Potter's Field.


But the priest bethought him: “« Milk that's spilt'

-You know the adage! Watch and pray! Saints tumble to earth with so slight a tilt !

It would build a new altar; that, we may!” And the altar therewith was built.

25. Why I deliver this horrible verse ?

As the text of a sermon, which now I preach : Evil or good may be better or worse

In the human heart, but the mixture of each Is a marvel and a curse.

26. The candid incline to surmise of late

That the Christian faith may be false, I find; For our Essays-and-Reviews' debate

Begins to tell on the public mind, And Colenso's words have weight:


27. I still, to suppose it true, for my part,

See reasons and reasons ; this, to begin : 'Tis the faith that launched point-blank her dart

At the head of a lie—taught Original Sin, The Corruption of Man's Heart.

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