Songs and Sonnets (Coleman)/The Temple

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For works with similar titles, see Temple.

THE TEMPLE.

He built a temple in his youth, so fair—
So lofty in conception and design,
It seemed like some creation half divine,
A fitting place for penitence and prayer.
With selfless zeal he wrought, his only care
To give his best—his all—and build a shrine
That should afar for longing pilgrims shine,
Calling their weary souls to worship there.

But long neglected now the temple stands,
Its crumbling walls with rusted ivy hung,
And he who built it with the eager hands
And shining hope of youth now sits among
The money-changers at the market-place
Suspicious, calculating, cold of face.