Among the Ruins of a Convent in the Apennines -

XXIII AMONG THE RUINS OF A CONVENT IN THE APENNINES

Ye Trees! whose slender roots entwine
 Altars that piety neglects;
Whose infant arms enclasp the shrine
 Which no devotion now respects;
If not a straggler from the herd
Here ruminate, nor shrouded bird,
Chanting her low-voiced hymn, take pride
In aught that ye would grace or hide—
How sadly is your love misplaced,
Fair Trees, your bounty run to waste!

Ye, too, wild Flowers! that no one heeds,
And ye—full often spurned as weeds—
In beauty clothed, or breathing sweetness
From fractured arch and mouldering wall—
Do but more touchingly recall
Man's headstrong violence and Time's fleetness,
Making the precincts ye adorn
Appear to sight still more forlorn.
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