I MOVED from the sun-warmed garden-seat,
Where the damask-rose petals covered the
And all the people with quiet feet
Followed the mass-bell's holy sound.
I left the terrace; I wandered away,
Past larkspur and lilies and monk's-hood tall,
To where the lake in its reed-bed lay,
On the sunset-side of the castle wall.
With a thousand years in its human sigh
The vesper murmur came to me
Of the people's patient piety;
Then my heart stopped. What did I see?
I saw her — I saw what the moonlit spell
Summoned by my dark heathen book,
Night by night had brought! Too well
I saw her. Too well I knew her look.
O lost one — lost one — from days long dead,
When love gave all and died when it gave!
O head thrown back! O arms outspread!
O passion stronger than the grave!
When the people returned on quiet feet
From following the mass-bell's holy sound,
They found me still on that sun-warmed seat,
With the damask-rose petals strewn on the
But they did not know that their voices took
A tone like the wind in a sepulchre;
They did not know that a heathen book
Had made me a monk for evermore!