The Three Absolutions

Each morn and eve, the Golden Keys,
Are lifted in the sacred hand,
To shew the sinner on his knees
Where Heaven's bright doors wide open stand.

On the dread Altar duly laid
The Golden Keys their witness bear,
That not in vain the Church hath pray'd,
That He, the Life of souls, is there.

Full of the past, all shuddering thought,
Man waits his hour with upward eye:
The Golden Keys in love are brought,
That he may hold by them and die.

But touch them trembling; for that gold
Proves iron in the unworthy hand,
To close, not ope, the favour'd fold,
To bind, not loose, the lost soul's band.
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