Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOTRE DAME DE ROUEN, by WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER



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NOTRE DAME DE ROUEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here, as the vesper chant
Last Line: Victor and king!
Subject(s): Churches; Jesus Christ - Suffering & Sacrifice; Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris; Religion; Cathedrals; Theology


HERE, as the vesper chant
Sinks to its close,
While not a murmur
Breaks the repose,

In silence I ponder,
Musing alone,
The Church's deep mystery,
Sculptured in stone.

In the solemn cathedral,
Now as of old,
The Passion of Calvary
Still we behold.

The Cross and the Crucified,
Yes, it is He,
The suffering Saviour,
Nailed to the tree!

As the choir from the transept
Bends to the West,
So His head in the agony
Drooped on His breast.

In the stains of the windows,
Purple and red,
Streams the blood which for sinners
Freely was shed.

Each stone is a symbol,
Graven and scarred;
So with keenest anguish
His form was marred.

Yet in all shapes of beauty
Wondrously wrought,
So the shame and the agony
Our healing brought!

Yonder a penitent,
Burdened within,
Kneels on the altar steps,
Sighing for sin.

So the dying thief prayed,
By His pierced side;
"In Thy kingdom remember me,"
Fainting, he cried.

The crypt lies beneath us;
There, in the gloom,
Sleeps the buried Redeemer,
In Joseph's tomb.

The spire springs toward heaven,
Where angels sing;
It is Jesus ascending,
Victor and King!





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