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Behind the crypt the altar hung with black;
And cúrtained black the doors, lucarnes and windows;
A single dím lamp from the high vault burning.
The tólling ceased as entering the chapel
The sisters ranged themselves in triple file
Half-moon shaped round the entrance of the crypt,
The kneeling Agatha and open coffin,
In each right hand still burning bright the taper.
“Selected child of God," then said the prior
Beside the bishop standing in the midst
And putting into the maid's trembling hand
The very crucifix Saint Ursula
Préssed to her lips upon her martyr day,
«íf of its own free will thine heart accepts
The words thou now shalt hear the bishop utter --
Wórds which for ever from the world divide thee,
From father, mother, friends, and house and home,
Brother and sister, all the joys of life
Swear to the words and kiss the holy rood.”
“Thou swear'st,” then said the bishop, “that till death
Thou wilt be faithful to the mother church,
Tbat to the letter thou 'lt observe the rules
And órdinances of Saint Ursula,
Obéy the lady abbess of this convent
In preference to thy father and thy mother,
And love this sisterhood more than thy sisters,
Sweárist that thou 'lt live in chastity perpetual,
Seclúsion, poverty and self-abasement,
And in all things conduct thee as becometh
The bride of Christ, the adopted of the Lord;
And as thou keep'st this oath or break'st it, so
Máy thy soul whén thou diest ascend to heaven
Thére to live ever in the joy of the Lord,
Ór be thrust down to hell to dwell for ever

In torment with the enemies of God."
"I swear,” said Agatha, and kissed the rood;
Then, taking each a hand, the attendant sisters
Upraised her from her knees and one of them
Dráwing the gold hoop from her finger dropped it
Ínto th’offértory held by the other;
Néxt from her head they undid the long white veil,
And loosed and let upon her shoulders fall
Her golden locks, then in their arms both raised her
And laid her stretched at full length in the coffin,
And the pall over her and the coffin spread,
Leaving the head bare, and beyond the edge
Of the coffin the dishevelled gold locks hanging;
Then one of them the locks held while the bishop
Clean sheared them from the head, saying same time:
“As these locks never to the head return,
So thoú returnest never to the world.”
Out of the coffin then the two attendants
Raised her together, and the long black veil
Threw óver her, head, neck and shoulders covering
Dówn to her waist behind; the bishop then
Námed her Euphemia, and upon her finger
Pútting the núptial ring and on her head
The núptial crown, pronounced her Christ's affianced,
The Lord's own spouse now and for ever more,
And, having given into her hand the attested
Act of Profession and the Rules of the Order,
Rósary and prayerbook, raised both hands and blessed her
And både her go in peace; then the abbess kissed her
And all the sisters kissed her one by one;
And having sung a hymn, all left the chapel:
The novices before, the prior following,
And then the bishop, next the lady abbess
Heading the black veils, with the last of whom

And youngest, tottering walked the new-professed,
The white veils last, the great bell again tolling.
The cloister court they round and up the stair
To the refectory and collation frugal:
Sausage and cheese and bread, and each one glass
Of Rüdesheimer four years in the cellar.
The prior and bishop some short quarter hour
Converse of things indifferent with the abbess;
Take leáve; the wicket again opens, closes;
The patter of the mules' hoofs dies away;
Each to her séparate cell the nuns retire,
And once more still as death 's Saint Ursula's cloister.
Next dáy a messenger conveys the parents
All of their daughter that they now might claim:
The golden ringlets sheared off by the bishop;
And in one narrow cell from that day forth,
Strictest and hóliest of Saint Ursula's nuns,
In pénitence and prayer lived Agatha,
Except when morning, noon, or evening bell
Cálled her to chapel, or her daily walk
She took the court round or the high-walled garden,
Ór at long intervals in a sister's presence
Spoke some short moments through the parlour grating
With some once dear friend of her former world.
So fórty years she lived and so she died,
And other Agathas walking where she walked
Her náme read on a flag beneath their feet
As from the court they turn into the chapel.

Begun while walking from RIED to Sanct Anton on the ADLERBERG (German TYROL), Sept. 4 - 5, 1854; finished at TEUFEN in Canton APPENZELL, Sept. 12, 1854.

I LÍKE the Belgian cleanliness and comfort,
The Bélgian liberty of thought and action,
The ancient Belgian cities, full of churches
With pointed windows and long Gothic aisles
And vócal steeples that pour every hour
Dówn from the clouds their lárklike melody;
I love too the soft Belgian languages,
Walloon and Flemish, and the Belgian song,
And Bélgium's pictures chiefly thine, Van Eyck!
Unequalled colorist, and first who dipped
In oil the pencil. But I like not all,
Múch though I like in Belgium; I like not
Its hill-less, smooth, unvariegated landscape,
Where even the very rivers seem to languish;
Still less I like its parallel, straight-cut roads
Where séldom but to telescope-armed eye
Discernible the further end or turning;
And leást of all I like him whóm Cologne,
Proúd of a little, fain would call her own,
Though fóreign-born, him of the broad, slouched hat,
The painter who shades red and with red streaks
And bloody blotches daubs the sprawling limbs
óf his fat Venuses and Medicis,
Susánnas, Ariadnes and Madonnas,
Álways except his sweetheart with the stráw hat,

For whose sake I 'd forgive his sins though doubled But other lands invite me, farewell Belgium!

Thrice welcome, Holland! refuge, in old times,
Of persecuted virtue, wisdom, learning;
Mighty Rhine-delta, I admire thy ports
Full of tall másts, wayfarers of both oceans;
Thy cabinets replenished with the riches
Of eíther Ind; thy dikes, canals, and sluices,
And territory from the deep sea won
By thy hard toil and skill and perseverance;
Bút I like not thy smug, smooth-sháven faces,
Sleék, methodístic hair, and white cravats,
And swallowtailed black coats, and trowsers black;
Still less I like the odour of thy streets
Ére by kind winter frozen, and the far more
Than Jewish eagerness with which thou graspest
At évery pound or penny fairly earned,
Or it may bé unfairly so I turn
Southward my pilgrim step, and say "Farewell!”

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Two Germanies there are, antipodistic
Each of the other, a Northern and a Southern:
Stúrdy the one, and stiffnecked and reserved,
Cautious, suspicious, economical, prudent,
Indústrious, indefatigable, patient,
Stúdious and méditative and with art's
And literature's most noble spoils enriched,
That raised, three hundred years ago, revolt's
Audácious standard against mother church
And from that day has lived and florished fair
Without the help of Pope, Bull, or Indulgence,
Ánd in its naked, shrineless temples worshipped
Its únsubstantial notion of a God.

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