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[51] Gray Age and Sickness waiting there
     Through weary night and lingering day,—
Grim as the idols at their side,
     And motionless as they.

Unheeded in the boughs above
     The song of Ceylon's birds was sweet;
Unseen of them the island flowers
     Bloomed brightly at their feet.

O'er them the tropic night-storm swept,
     The thunder crashed on rock and hill;
The cloud-fire on their eyeballs blazed,
     Yet there they waited still!

What was the world without to them?
     The Moslem's sunset-call, the dance
Of Ceylon's maids, the passing gleam
     Of battle-flag and lance?

They waited for that falling leaf
     Of which the wandering Jogees sing:
Which lends once more to wintry age
     The greenness of its spring.

Oh, if these poor and blinded ones
     In trustful patience wait to feel
O'er torpid pulse and failing limb
     A youthful freshness steal;

Shall we, who sit beneath that Tree
     Whose healing leaves of life are shed,
In answer to the breath of prayer,
     Upon the waiting head—

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