The Church of a Dream

By Lionel Johnson (1867–1902)

the-church-of-a-dreamThe Saints in glorious vesture shake before the gale;

The glorious windows shake, where still they dwell enshrined;

Old Saints by long dead, shrivelled hands long since designed:

There still, although the world autumnal be, and pale,

Still in thin golden vesture the old Saints prevail;

Alone with Christ, desolate else, left by mankind.
.
Only one ancient Priest offers the Sacrifice,

Murmuring holy Latin immemorial:

Swaying with tremulous hands the old censer full of spice,

In gray, sweet incense clouds; blue, sweet clouds mystical:

To him, in place of men, for he is old, suffice

Melancholy remembrances and vesperal.

                                                              [1890]

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