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[118] Forth-looking from the castle tower,
     Beyond the hills with almonds dark,
The straining eye could scarce discern
     The chapel of the good St. Mark.

And there, when bitter word or fare
     The service of the youth repaid,
By stealth, before that holy shrine,
     For grace to bear his wrong, he prayed.

The steed stamped at the castle gate,
     The boar-hunt sounded on the hill;
Why stayed the Baron from the chase,
     With looks so stern, and words so ill?

“Go, bind yon slave! and let him learn,
     By scath of fire and strain of cord,
How ill they speed who give dead saints
     The homage due their living lord!”

They bound him on the fearful rack,
     When, through the dungeon's vaulted dark,
He saw the light of shining robes,
     And knew the face of good St. Mark.

Then sank the iron rack apart,
     The cords released their cruel clasp,
The pincers, with their teeth of fire,
     Fell broken from the torturer's grasp.

And lo! before the Youth and Saint,
     Barred door and wall of stone gave way;
And up from bondage and the night
     They passed to freedom and the day!

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Saint Marks (Kansas, United States) (1)

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