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     Like some foul devil-altar there
Built up by demon hands at night.
     And, maddened by that evil sight,
Dark, horrible, confused, and strange,
     A chaos of wild, weltering change,
All power of check and guidance gone,
     Dizzy and blind, his mind swept on.
In vain he strove to breathe a prayer,
     In vain he turned the Holy Book,
He only heard the gallows-stair
     Creak as the wind its timbers shook.
No dream for him of sin forgiven,
     While still that baleful spectre stood,
With its hoarse murmur, ‘Blood for Blood!’
     Between him and the pitying Heaven!

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