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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.
A benefactor, - a bishop, suppose;
A dame with chased ring and jewelled rose,
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 –O 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.
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.
With parents preventing her soul's release
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 !”
Enough! The priest took the grave's grim yield :
The parents, they eyed that price of sin
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.
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:
I still, to suppose it true, for my part,
See reasons and reasons ; this, to begin: 'T is the faith that launched point-blank her dart
At the head of a lie - taught Original Sin, The Corruption of Man's Heart.