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     A rite as holy paid to thee
As if beneath the convent-tree
     Thy sisterhood were kneeling,
At vesper hours, like sorrowing angels, keeping
     Their tearful watch around thy place of sleeping.

For thou wast one in whom the light
     Of Heaven's own love was kindled well;
Enduring with a martyr's might,
     Through weary day and wakeful night,
Far more than words may tell:
     Gentle, and meek, and lowly, and unknown,
Thy mercies measured by thy God alone!

Where manly hearts were failing, where
     The throngful street grew foul with death,
O high-souled martyr! thou wast there,
     Inhaling, from the loathsome air,
Poison with every breath.
     Yet shrinking not from offices of dread
For the wrung dying, and the unconscious dead.

And, where the sickly taper shed
     Its light through vapors, damp, confined,
Hushed as a seraph's fell thy tread,
     A new Electra by the bed
Of suffering human-kind!
     Pointing the spirit, in its dark dismay,
To that pure hope which fadeth not away.

Innocent teacher of the high
     And holy mysteries of Heaven!
How turned to thee each glazing eye,

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Electra (1)
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