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XVIII.

They grubbed with a will: and at length, cor

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

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

XIX.

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.

XX.

And lo, when they came to the coffin-lid,

Or 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 !

XXI.

Hid there? Why? Could the girl be wont

(She the stainless soul) to treasure up Money, earth’s trash and heaven's affront?

Had a spider found out the communion-cup, Was a toad in the christening-font?

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XXII. Truth is truth : too true it was.

Gold! She hoarded and hugged it first, Longed for it, leaned o'er it, loved it-alas

Till the humour grew to a head and burst, And she cried, at the final pass,

XXIII.

Talk not of God, my heart is stone !

“ Nor lover nor friend—be gold for both ! “ Gold I lack; and, my all, my own,

“ It shall hide in my hair. I scarce die loth “ If they let my hair alone !"

XXIV.

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 kept alive, -

XXV.
With heaven's gold gates about to ope,

With friends' praise, gold-like, lingering still,
An instinct had hidden the girl's hand grope
For gold, the true sort-

“Gold in heaven, if you will ; “ But I keep earth's too, I hope."

XXVI.
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.

XXVII.
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 !

1!" And the altar therewith was built.

XXVIII.

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.

XXIX.

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 :

Xxx. 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.

THE STATUE AND THE BUST.

THERE 's a palace in Florence, the world knows well,
And a statue watches it from the square,
And this story of both do our townsmen tell.

Ages ago, a lady there,
At the farthest window facing the East
Asked, “Who rides by with the royal air ?"

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The bridesmaids' prattle around her ceased;
She leaned forth, one on either hand ;
They saw how the blush of the bride increased

They felt by its beats her heart expand-
As one at each ear and both in a breath
Whispered, “The Great Duke Ferdinand.”

That self-same instant, underneath,
The Duke rode past in his idle way,
Empty and fine like a swordless sheath.

Gay he rode, with a friend as gay,
Till he threw his head back-"Who is she ? "
-"A bride the Riccardi brings home to-day.”

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Hair in heaps lay heavily
Over a pale brow spirit-pure-
Carved like the heart of the coal-black tree,

Crisped like a war-steed's encolure-
And vainly sought to dissemble her eyes
Of the blackest black our eyes endure.

And lo, a blade for a knight's emprise
Filled the fine empty sheath of a man,-
The Duke grew straightway brave and wise.

He looked at her, as a lover can ;
She looked at him, as one who awakes :
The past was a sleep, and her life began.

Now, love so ordered for both their sakes,
A feast was held, that selfsame night,
In the pile which the mighty shadow makes.

(For Via Larga is three parts light,
But the palace overshadows one,
Because of a crime which may God requite !

To Florence and God the wrong was done,
Through the first republic's murder there
By Cosimo and his cursed son.)

The Duke (with the statue's face in the square)
Turned, in the midst of his multitude,
At the bright approach of the bridal pair.

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