William Wordsworth

In Due Observance Of An Ancient Rite

IN due observance of an ancient rite, The rude Biscayans, when their children lie Dead in the sinless time of infancy, Attire the peaceful corse in vestments white; And, in like sign of cloudless triumph bright, They bind the unoffending creature's brows With happy garlands of the pure white rose: Then do a festal company unite In choral song; and, while the uplifted cross Of Jesus goes before, the child is borne Uncovered to his grave: 'tis closed,--her loss The Mother 'then' mourns, as she needs must mourn; But soon, through Christian faith, is grief subdued; And joy returns, to brighten fortitude.

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