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Without, the sullen noises of the street!|
The voice of London, inarticulate,
Hoarse and blaspheming, surges in to meet
The silent blessing of the Immaculate.
Dark is the church, and dim the worshippers,|
Hushed with bowed heads as though by some old spell,
While through the incense-laden air there stirs
The admonition of a silver bell.
Dark is the church, save where the altar stands,|
Dressed like a bride, illustrious with light,
Where one old priest exalts with tremulous hands
The one true solace of mans fallen plight.
Strange silence here; without, the sounding street|
Heralds the worlds swift passage to the fire;
O Benediction, perfect and complete!
When shall men cease to suffer and desire?
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Created November 12, 2002; not revised.