Tourists in a Sacred Place

A pallid rout stepping like phantoms
beneath the arching boughs
have come with angel hands and wretched voices
to the valley and this choir of perish'd stones.

Valid was my anguish — as though a turbulent dove
had scatter'd the leafy silence.
Now in airless vistas, dim and blind my limbs will loiter
while the senses stray to vast defeats.

A rocking bell
peals in a grey tower.
The sound has broken down the strong defences
of age and innocence.

Cecily come with your virginal tremors
Cecily still the bell.
Your tresses are wet from the rushing river
a green weed clings like a vein on your breast.

Cecily, listen, the clangour is over
now only the burden of bees in the clover.
God and his angels have given you grace
and stamp'd your mission on your naiad face.
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