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Sweeps, like a storm, the coming foe.
‘Save me, O holy man!’ her cry
Fills all the void, as if a tongue,
Unseen, from rib and rafter hung,
Thrilling with mortal agony;
Her hands are clasping the Jesuit's knee,
And her eye looks fearfully into his own;
“Off, woman of sin! nay, touch not me
With those fingers of blood; begone!”
With a gesture of horror, he spurns the form
That writhes at his feet like a trodden worm.
Ever thus the spirit must,
Guilty in the sight of Heaven,
With a keener woe be riven,
For its weak and sinful trust
In the strength of human dust;
And its anguish thrill afresh,
For each vain reliance given
To the failing arm of flesh.
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