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[286] Beside that track of air and light,
     Weak as a child unweaned,
At shut of day a Christian knight
     Upon his henchman leaned.

The embers of the sunset's fires
     Along the clouds burned down;
‘I see,’ he said, “the domes and spires
     Of Norembega town.”

Alack! the domes, O master mine,
     Are golden clouds on high;
Yon spire is but the branchless pine
     That cuts the evening sky. “

“Oh, hush and hark! What sounds are these
     But chants and holy hymns?”
“Thou hear'st the breeze that stirs the trees
     Through all their leafy limbs.”

“Is it a chapel bell that fills
     The air with its low tone?”
“Thou hear'st the tinkle of the rills,
     The insect's vesper drone.”

“The Christ be praised!—He sets for me
     A blessed cross in sight!”
“Now, nay, 't is but yon blasted tree
     With two gaunt arms outright!”

“Be it wind so sad or tree so stark,
     It mattereth not, my knave;
Methinks to funeral hymns I hark,
     The cross is for my grave!

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