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As these white robes are soiled and dark,
To yonder shining ground;
To yonder argent round;
My spirit before Thee ;
To that I hope to be.
Thro' all yon starlight keen,
In raiment white and clean.
He lifts me to the golden doors ;
The flashes come and go ;
And strows her lights below,
Roll back, and far within
To make me pure of sin.
The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wideA light upon the shining seam
The Bridegroom with his bride !
My good blade carves the casques of men,
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
Because my heart is pure.
The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly,
The horse and rider reel :
And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favours fall ! For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall : But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine : I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
Me mightier transports move and thrill ; So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.
A light before me swims,
I hear a noise of hymns :
I hear a voice, but none are there ;
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean, The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn chaunts resound between.
iv. Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark ;
I float till all is dark.
Three angels bear the holy Grail :
On sleeping wings they sail.
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro' dreaming towns I go, The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.