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.