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[2115]
     Could keep him wise and pure for aye,
Apart from all that might distract or soil,
     With this their lamps they fed,
Which burn in their sepulchral shrines,
     Unfading night and day.

The pass-word now is lost
     To that initiation full and free;
Daily we pay the cost
     Of our slow schooling for divine degree.
We know no means to feed an undying lamp,
     Our lights go out in every wind and damp.

We wear the cross of Ebony and Gold,
     Upon a dark back-ground a form of light,
A heavenly hope within a bosom cold,
     A starry promise in a frequent night;
And oft the dying lamp must trim again,
     For we are conscious, thoughtful, striving men

Yet be we faithful to this present trust,
     Clasp to a heart resigned this faithful Must;
Though deepest dark our efforts should enfold,
     Unwearied mine to find the vein of gold;
Forget not oft to waft the prayer on high;—
     The rosy dawn again shall fill the sky.

And by that lovely light all truth revealed,—
     The cherished forms, which sad distrust concealed,
Transfigured, yet the same, will round us stand,
     The kindred angels of a faithful band;
Ruby and ebon cross then cast aside,
     No lamp more needed, for the night has died.

‘Be to the best thou knowest ever true,’
     Is all the creed.
Then be thy talisman of rosy hue,
     Or fenced with thorns, that wearing, thou must bleed
Or, gentle pledge of loves prophetic view,
     The faithful steps it will securely lead.


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