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THE FEAST OF THE DEAD, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Down old ways the monks pass ringing
Last Line: Miserere, domine.
Subject(s): Death; Graves; Rest; Silence; Sleep; Dead, The; Tombs; Tombstones

DOWN old ways the monks pass ringing
Masses for the lost dead; bringing
Strange white herds to join their singing —
Miserere, Domine.

Hunted, lonely, waked from sleeping,
In the haunted stillness creeping,
Timid shadows linger weeping —
Miserere, Domine.

From their tombs in grave-sheets mobbing, —
Listen to their heart-sick sobbing
Through the mellow moonlight throbbing —
Miserere, Domine.

Golden lilies, fragrance trailing,
Shades of blood their fairness veiling,
Tremble at the hopeless wailing —
Miserere, Domine.

Cypress plumes in night-winds blowing,
Wild white roses incense sowing,
Stir the air to mystic knowing —
Miserere, Domine.

Ever nearer, clearer, calling,
On they sweep with shrieks appalling,
Echoes from dark archways falling —
Miserere, Domine.

. . . . . . . . . .

Now at last they pause, slow kneeling,
Silence softly on them stealing;
Hark, the bells have ceased their pealing —
Miserere, Domine.

Softly, softly, grave-stones closing,
Shut the dead to mute reposing
Back within the warm earth dozing —
Miserere, Domine.

And the sun, glad day betraying, —
Down the paling highway straying,
Only two brown monks finds praying —
Miserere, Domine.

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