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Sternly, though tenderly, that he might feel

The velvet scabbard held a sword of steel,

"Art thou the king?" the passion of his woe

Burst from him, in resistless overflow,

And lifting high his forehead, he would fling

The passionate answer back, " I am, I am the king."

Almost three years were ended, when there came

Ambassadors of great repute and name

From Valmond, emperor of Allemaine,

Unto king Robert, saying that Pope Urbane

By letter summon'd them forthwith to come

On Holy Thursday to his city of Rome.

The angel with great joy received his guests,

And gave them presents of embroidered vests. . . .

Then he departed with them o'er the sea,

Into the lovely land of Italy.. . .

And lo! among the menials, in mock state,

Upon a piebald steed with shambling gait,

His cloak of fox-tails flapping in the wind,

The solemn ape demurely perch'd behind,

King Robert rode, making huge merriment

In all the country towns thro' which they went.

The Pope received them with great pomp, and blare

Of banner'd trumpets, in St. Peter's Square;

Giving his benediction and embrace,

Fervent, and full of apostolic grace.

While, with congratulations and with prayers,

He entertain'd an angel unawares.

In solemn state the holy week went by,
And Easter Sunday gleam'd upon the sky;
The presence of the angel, with its light,
Before the sun rose, made the city bright,

And with new fervour fill'd the hearts of men,

Who felt that Christ was risen indeed again.

Even the jester on his bed of straw,

With haggard eyes the' unwonted splendour saw,

He felt within a power unfelt before,

And kneeling humbly on his chamber floor,

He heard the rushing garments of the Lord

Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.

And now the visit ending, and once more

Valmond returning to the Danube shore,

Homeward the angel journey'd, and again

The land was made resplendent with his train,

Flashing along the towns of Italy

Unto Salerno, and from there by sea.

And when once more within Palermo's wall,

And seated on the throne in his great hall,

He heard the Angelus from convent towers,

As if the better world convers'd with ours,

He beckon'd to king Robert to draw nigher,

And with a gesture bade the rest retire;

And when they were alone, the angel said,

"Art thou the king?" Then bowing down his head,

King Robert cross'd both hands upon his breast,

And meekly answer'd him, "Thou knowest best:

My sins as scarlet are; let me go hence,

And in some cloister's school of penitence,

Across those stones that pave the way to heaven,

Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul is shriven!"

The angel smiled, and from his radiant face

A holy light illumin'd all the place,

And through the open window, loud and clear,

They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,

Above the stir and tumult of the street:
"He has put down the mighty from their seat,
And has exalted them of low degree!"
And through the chant, a second melody
Rose like the throbbing of a single string:
"I am an angel, and thou art the king!"
King Robert, who was standing near the throne,
Lifted his eyes, and lo ! he was alone!
But all apparell'd as in days of old,
With ermin'd mantle, and with cloth of gold;
And when his courtiers came, they found him there,
Kneeling upon the floor, absorb'd in silent prayer.

H. IV. Longfellow

LXXXVIII

CHARITY
Then constant faith, and holy hope shall die,
One lost in certainty, and one in joy;
Whilst thou, more happy power, fair Charity,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsum'd thy flame,
Shalt still survive—

Shalt stand before the host of Heaven confess'd,
For ever blessing, and for ever blest.

Matthew Prior

LXXXIX

THE LAST TRUMP

As grew the power of sacred lays

The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the bless'd above:
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky.

John Dryden

XC

"And Jesus said unto them, There shall not be left

here one stone upon another. . . Heaven and earth

shall pass away."

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherits shall dissolve:
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakspeare

XCI
HOLY SCRIPTURE

Who has this Book and reads it not

Doth God Himself despise; Who reads, but understandeth not,

His soul in darkness lies.

Who understands, but savours not,

He finds no rest in trouble; Who savours but obeyeth not,

He hath his judgment double.

Who reads this book—who understands—

Doth savour and obey— His soul shall stand at God's right hand,

In the great Judgment Day.

Old Hymn

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