Seite:Marsh Wolfe of the knoll.djvu/49

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53

THE TIDINGS.

  Wipes the thick drops from his hot brow,
  And lifts to Heaven his trembling hands.
  Yet from his lips no sound there fell —
  What words for such a moment meet,
  When the whole heart doth upward swell,
  In one full cloud of incense sweet !
  One backward glance he shrinking cast
  Upon the fearful peril past,*
  Then, turning to the roof of thatch,
  He slowly lifts the simple latch.

  O, grief ! whose heart is then so clean.
  Whose hands in innocence so washed.
  That he thy sacred form hath seen.
  And stood before thee unabashed !
  To thy great altar who dares bring,
  For offering, an unholy thing !

  * When the tide returns suddenly, persons walking on the flats during
the ebb are exposed to be cut off from the islands and drowned. Distress-
ing accidents of this kind are not unfrequent.