The Poet

In the Office of the Blessed Virgin

Who but Jerome should quarry speech like stone,
Granite on granite phrase superbly laid
Till like a tower master hands have made
The whole stands upright to the stars, alone,
Four-square and perfect. " Hail, God's Holy Throne,
Ark, Mountain, Palace, Dove, " as, unafraid
Words of wide meaning he has justly weighed
Into proportion, color, line, and tone.
Jerome, in camel skins, in your dim cave,
With only — Ah! — the Scriptures to your hand,
Water and bitter herbs, hair-shirted rest —
What darling singer of the ages gave
Ever such beauty in a flower-crowned land
As with a stone you beat out of your breast!
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