Easter Hymn

I love the pious candle-light,
The boys' fresh voices, void of thought,
The woman's eager, inward sight
Of what in vain her heart had sought.

I love the violets at the feet
Of Jesus, red with some blood-stain;
I love the cross, and it is sweet
To make a sacrifice of pain.

Some offer bullocks to the skies;
Some, incense, with their drowsy praise;
He brings the gods what most they prize
Who sorrow on the altar lays.

I love the Virgin's flowering shrine,
Her golden crown, her jewelled stole,
The seven dolorous swords that shine
Around her heart, an aureole.

Thou Mother of a suffering race,
Whose pangs console us for our birth,
Reign thou for ever, by the grace
Of sorrow, Queen of all the earth!

Perchance when Carnival is done,
And sun and moon go out for me,
Christ will be God, and I the one
That in my youth I used to be.

Things all are shadows, shadows all,
And ghosts within an idiot's brain.
A little while, they fade and fall;
A little while, they come again.

Sing softly, choristers; ye sing
Not faith alone, but doubt and dread.
Ring wildly, Easter bells; ye ring
For Christ arisen, and hope dead.
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