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11.

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 :

14.

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.

15.

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.

16.
'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.

18.

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!

19.

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.

21

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, -

22.

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.

24.

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:

D

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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