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Whose whole existence the next cloud may blast, Of virgin-modesty, that thou shalt wish
Believes himself the care of heavenly powers,

The earth might cover thee! In that last hour,
That God regards man, miserable man,

When thy bruis'd breast shall heave bencath the chains And, preaching thus of power and providence,

That link thes to the stake; when o'er thy form Will crush the reptile that may cross his path!

Exposed unmantled, the brute multitude

Shall gaze, and thou shalt hear the ribald taunt, Fool that thou art! the Being that permits

More painful than the circling flames that scorch Existence, gives to man the worthless boon:

Each quivering member; wilt thou not in vajn A goodly gift to those who, fortune-blest,

Then wish my friendly aid ? then wish thipe ear Bask in the sunshine of prosperity;

Had drank my words of comfort? that thy hand And such do well to keep it. But to one

Had grasp'd the dagger, and in death preserved Sick at the heart with misery, and sore

Josulted modesty ?» With many a hard unmerited affliction,

Her glowing cheek It is a hair that chains to wretchedness

Blush'd crimson; her wide eye on vacancy The slave who dares not burst it!

Was fix'd; her breath short panted. The cold fiend,

Thinkest thou, Grasping her hand, exclaim'd, « Too timid Maid, The parent, if his child should unrecalld

So long repugnant to the liealing aid Return and fall upon his neck, and cry,

My friendship proffers, now shalt thou beliold "Oh! the wide world is comfortless, and full

The allotted length of life.» Of vacant joys and heart-consuming cares,

He stamp'd the earth,
I can be only happy in my home

And, dragging a huge coffin as his car,
With thec-my friend ! my father! Thinkest thou, Two Gouls came on, of form more fearful-foul
That he would thrust him as an outcast forth 73 Than ever palsied in her wildest dreain
Oh! he would clasp the truant to his heart,

Hag-ridden Superstition. Then Despair
And love the trespass.»

Seized on the Maid whose curdling blood stood still, Whilst he spake, his eye And placed her in the seat, and on they pass'd Dwelt on the Maiden's cheek, and read her soul Adown the deep descent. A meteor light Struggling within. In trembling doubt she stood, Shot from the dæmons, as they drage'd along Even as the wretch, whose famish'd entrails crave The unwelcome load, and mark'd their brethren feast Supply, before him sees the poison d food

On carcasses.
In greedy horror.

Below, the vault dilates
Yet, not silent long:

Its ample bulk. « Look here!»---Despair addrest · Eloquent tempter, cease !» the Maiden cried ; The shuddering Virgin, « see the dome of Death !» «What though affliction be my portion here,

It was a spacious cavern, hewn amid Think'st thou I do not feel high thoughts of joy, The entrails of the earth, as though to form Of heart-ennobling joy, when I look back

The grave of all mankind: no eye could reach, Upon a life of duty well perform’d,

Though gifted with the eagle's ample ken, Then lift mine eyes to Heaven, and there in faith Its distant bounds. There, throned in darkness, dwelt Know my reward ?-1 grant, were this life all,

The unseen power of Death. Was there no morning to the tomb's lony night,

Here stopt the Gouls, If man did mingle with the senseless clod,

Reaching the destined spot. The fiend leapt out, Vimself as senseless, then wert thou indeed

And from the coffin as he led the Maid, A wise and friendly comforter!-But, fiend,

Exclaim'd, « Where never yet stood mortal man, There is a morning to the tomb's long night,

Thou standest: look around this boundless vault: A dawn of glory, a reward in heaven,

Observe the dole that Nature deals to man, He shall not gain who never merited.

And learn to know thy friend.» If thou didst know the worth of one good deed

She noi replied, In life's last hour, thou wouldst not bid nie losc Observing where the Fates their several tasks The power to benefit! if I but save

Plied ceaseless. « Mark how long the shortest web A drowning fly, I shall not live in vain.

Allow'd to man!» he cried ; « observe low soon, I have great duties, fiend! me France expects,

Twined round yon dever-resting wheel, they change Her heaven-doom'd champion.»

Their snowy hue, darkening through many a shade,

« Maiden, thou hast donc Till Atropos relentless shuts the shcars!» Thy mission here,» the unbaffled fiend replied ; « The foes are fled from Orleans : thou, perchance, Too true he spake, for of the countless threads, Exulting in the pride of victory,

Drawn from the heap, as white as unsuon'd snow, Forgettest him who perislid! yet albeit

Or as the lovely lily of the vale, Thy harden'd heart forget the gallant youth,

Was never one beyond the little span
That hour allolied canst thou not escape,

Of infancy untainted: few there were
That dreadful bour, wlien contumely and shame But lightly tinged; more of deep crimson hue,
Shall sojourn in thy dungeon. Wretched Maid! Or deeper sable dyed.4 Two genii stood,
Destined to drain the cup of bitterness,

Still as the web of being was drawn forth,
Even to its dregs! England's inhuman chiefs

Sprinkling their powerful drops. From ebon urn, Shall scoff thy sorrows, blacken thy pure fame, The one unsparing dash'd the bitter wave Wit-wanton it with lewd barbarity,

Of woe; and as he dash'd, his dark-brown brow And force such burning blushes to the cheek

Relax'd to a hard smile. The milder form

Shed less profusely there his lesser store;
Sometimes with tears increasing the scapt boon,
Mourning the lot of man; and happy he
Who on his thread those precious drops receives;
If it be happiness to have the pulse
Throb fast with pity, and in such a world
Of wretchedness, the generous heart that aches
With anguish at the sight of human woe.

Flamed dreadful. At the heaving bellows stood The

meagre form of Care, and as he blew To

augment the fire, the fire augmented scorchid Iis wretched limbs: sleepless for ever thus He toild and toild, of toil no end to know, But endless toil and never-ending woe.

To her the fiend, well hoping now success,
« This is thy thread! observe how short the span,
And see how copious yonder genius pours
The bitter stream of woe.»

The Maiden saw
Fearless. « Now gaze!» the tempter fiend exclaimu,
And placed again the poniard in her hand,
For Superstition, with sulphureal torch,
Stalk'd to the loom. « This, Damsel, is thy fate!
The hour draws on-now drench the dagger deep!
Now rusli to happier worlds!»

The Maid replied, « Or to prevent or change the will of Heaven, Impious I strive not: let that will be done!»

BOOK II.

She spake, and lo! celestial radiance bcam'd
Amid the air, such odours wafting now
As erst came blended with the evening gale,
From Eden's bowers of bliss. An angel form
Stood by the Maid; his wings, ethereal white,
Flash'd like the diamond in the noon-lide sun,
Dazzling her mortal eye: all clsc appear'd
Her Theodore.

Amazed she saw: the fiend
Was ied, and on her ear the well-known voice
Sounded, though now more musically sweet
Than ever yet had thrilld her charmed soul,
When eloquent affection fondly told
The day-dreams of delight.

« Beloved Maid! Lo! I am with thee! still thy Theodore ! liearts in the holy bands of love combined, Death has no power to sever. Thou art mine! A little while and thou shall dwell with me, Tu scenes where sorrow is not. Cheerily Tread thou the path that leads thee to the grave, Rough though it be and painful, for the grave Is but the threshold of eternity.

An aged man went round the infernal vault,
Urging his work men to their ceaseless task:
While were his locks, as is the wintry snow
On hoar Plinlimmon's head. A golden staff
Ais steps supported; powerful talisman,
Which whoso feels shall never feel again
The tear of pity, or the throb of love.
Touchid but by this, the massy gates give way,
The buttress trembles, and the guarded wall,
Guarded in vain, submits. Him heathens erst
llad deified, and bowed the suppliant knee
To Plutus. Nor are now his votaries few,
Even though the blessed Teacher of mankind
Hath said, that easier through the needle's eye
Shall the huge camcl pass, 5 than the rich man
Enter the gates of heaven. « Ye cannot serve
Your God, and worship Mammon.»

« Mission'd Maid »
So spake the angel, « know that these, whose hands
Round each white furnace ply the unceasing toil,
Were Mammon's slaves on earth. They did not spare
To wring from poverty the hard-earo'd mite,
They robb'd the orphan's pittance, they could see
Want's asking eye unmoved; and therefore these,
Ranged round the furnace, still must persevere
In Mammon's service; scorch'd by these fierce fires,
And frequent deluged by the o'erboiling ore:
Yet still so framed, that oft to quench their thirst
Unquenchable, large draughts of molten goldó
They drink insatiate, still with pain renew'd,
Pain to destroy.»

So saying, her he led
forth from the dreadful cavern to a cell,
Brilliant with gem-born light. The rugged walls
Part gleam'd with gold, and part with silver ore
In milder radiance shone. The carbuncle
There its strong lustre like the flamy sun
Shot forth irradiate; from the earth beneath,
And from the roof there stream'd a diamond light;
Rubies and amethysts their glows commixd
With the gay topaz, and the softer ray
Shot from the sapphire, and the emerald's huc,
And bright pyropus.

There on golden seats,
A numerous, sullen, melancholy train
Sat silent. Maiden, these,» said Theodore,
« Are they who let the love of wealth absorb
All other passions; in their souls that vice
Struck deeply-rooted, like the poison-tree
That with its shade spreads barrenness around.
These, Maid! were men by no atrocious crime
Blacken'd, no fraud, nor ruffian violence:
Men of fair dealing, and respectable
On earth, but such as only for themselves
Heap'd up their treasures, deeming all their wealth
Their own, and given to them, by partial Heaven,
To bless them only: therefore here they sit,
Possess'd of gold enough, and by do pain
Tormented, save the knowledge of the bliss

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« Favour'd of Heaven; to thee is given to view
These secret realms. The bottom of the abyss
Thou treadest, Maiden! Here the dungeons are
Where bad men learn repentance! souls diseased
Must have their remedy; and where disease
Is rooted deep, the remedy is long
Perforce, and painful.»

Thus the spirit spake,
And led the Maid along a narrow path,
Dark gleaming to the light of far-off flames,
More dread than darkness. Soon the distant sound
Of clankiug anvils, and the lengthen'd breath
Provoking fire are heard: and now they reach
A wide-expanded den, where all around
Tremendous furnaces, with hellish blaze,

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They lost, and rain repentance. Here they dwell,
Loathing these useless treasures, till the hour
Of general restitution.»

Thence they passid,
And now arrived at such a gorgeous dome,
As even the pomp of eastern opulence
Could never equal : wander'd through its halls
A numerous train; some with the red-swola eye
Of riot, and intemperance-bloated cheek;
Some pale and nerveless, and with feeble step,
And eyes lack-lustre.

« Maiden!» said her guide,
« These are the wretched slaves of Appetite,
Curst with their wish enjoyd. The epicure
Here pampers his foul frame, till the pall'd sense
Loathes at the banquet; the voluptuous here
Plunge in the tempting torrent of delight,
And sink in misery. All they wish'd on earth,
Possessing here, whom have they to accuse
But their own folly, for the lot they chose ?
Yet for that these injured themselves alonc,
They to the house of Penitence may hic,
And, by a long and painful regimen,
To wearied Nature her exhausted powers
Restore, till they shall learn to form the wish
Of wisdom, and Almighty Goodness grants
That prize to him who seeks it.»

Whilst he spake,
The board is spread. With bloated paunch, and eye
Fat swoln, and legs whose monstrous size disgraced
The human form divine, their caterer,
Hight Gluttony, set forth the smoking feast.
And by his side came on a brother form,
With fiery cheek of purple hue, and red
And scurfy-white, mix'd motley; his gross bulk,
Like some huge logshead shapen'd, as applied.
Him had antiquity with mystic rites
Adored; to him the sons of Greece, and thine,
Imperial Rome, on many an altar pour'd
The victim blood, with godlike titles graced,
Bacchus, or Dionusus; son of Jove
Deem'd falsely, for from Folly's idiot form
He sprung, what time Madness, with furious hand,
Seized on the laughing female. At one birth
She brought the brethren, menial here below,
Though sovereigns upon earth, where oft they hold
High revels: 'mid the monastery's gloom,
Thy palace, Gluttony, and oft to thee
The sacrifice is spread, when the grave voice
Episcopal proclaims approaching day
Of visitation, or church wardens meet
To save the wretched many from the gripe
Of poverty, or 'mid thy ample halls
Of London, mighty mayor! rich aldermen,
Of coming feast hold converse.

Otherwhere, For though allied in nature as in blood, They hold divided sway, his brother lifts His spungy sceptre. In the noble domes Of princes, and state-wearied ministers, Maddening he reigns; and when the affrighted mind Casts o'er a long career of guilt and blood Its eye reluctant, then bis aid is sought To lull the worm of conscience to repose. He, too, thc halls of country-squires frequents, But chiefly loves the learned gloom that shades

Thy offspring, Rhedycina! and thy walls,
Granta! nightly libations there to him
Profuse are pour'd, till from the dizzy brain
Triangles, circles, parallelograms,
Moods, tenses, dialects, and demigods,
And logic, and theology, are swept
By the red deluge.

Unmolested there
He revels; till the general feast comes round,
The sacrifice septennial, when the sons
Of England mect, with watchful care to chuse
Their delegates, wise, independent men,
Unbribing and unbribed, and chosen to guard
Their rights and charters from the encroaching grasp
Of greedy power; then all the joyful land
Join in his sacrifices, so inspired
To make the important choice.

The observing Maid Address'd her guide: « These, Theodore, thou say'st Are men, who pampering their foul appetites, Injured themselves alone. But where are they, The worst of villains, viper-like, who coil Around the guileless female, so to sting The heart that loves them ?»

« Them,» the spirit replied,
« A long and dreadful punishment awaits.
For when, the prey of want and infamy,
Lower and lower still the victim sinks,
Even to the depth of shame, not one lewd word,
One impious imprecation from her lips
Escapes, nay not a thought of evil lurks
In the polluted mind, that does not plead
Before the throne of justice, thunder-tongued
Against the foul sedu r.»

Now they reach'd
The house of Penitence. Credulity
Stood at the gate, stretching her eager

head
As though to listen; on her vacant face,
A smile that promised premature assent:
Though her Regret behind, a meagre fiend,
Disciplined sorely.

Here they enter'd in,
And now arrived where, as in study tranced,
They saw the mistress of the dume. ller face
Spake that composed severity, that knows
No angry impulse, no weak tenderness,
Resolved and calm. Before her lay that Book
Which hath the words of life; and as she read,
Sometimes a tear would trickle down her cheek,
Though heavenly joy beam'd in her

eye

the while.

Leaving her undisturbid, to the first ward
Of this great lazar-house, the angel led
The favour'd Maid of Orleans. Kneeling down
On the hard stone which their bare koees had worn,
In sackcloth robed, a numerous train appear'd:
Hard-featured some, and some demurely grave;
Yet such expression stealing from the eye,
As though, that only naked, all the rest
Was one close-fitting mask. A scoffing fiend,
For fiend he was, though wisely serving here,
Mock'd at his patients, and did ofien pour
Ashes upon them, and then bid them say
Their prayers aloud, and then he louder lauglid:
For these were hypocrites, on earth revered
As holy ones, who did in public tell

Their beads, and make long prayers, and cross them- Have made men bow the knee, and call'd themselves selves,

Most reverend graces and right reverend lords. And call themselves most miserable sinners,

They dwelt in palaces, in purple clothed, That so they might be deem'd most pious saints: And in fine linen: therefore are they here; And go all filth, and never let a smile

And though they would not minister on earth,
Bend their stern muscles: gloomy, sullen men, Here penanced they perforce must minister :
Barren of all affection, and all this

Did not the Holy One of Nazareth
To please their God, forsooth! and therefore Scorn Tell them, his kingdom is not of the world?»
Grinn'd at his patients, making them repeat
Their solemn farce, with keenest raillery

So saying, on they pass'd, and now arrived
Tormenting; but if earnest in their prayer,

Where such a hideous ghastly group abode,
They pour'd the silent sorrows of the soul

That the Maid gazed with half-averting eye,
To heaven, then did they not regard his mocks And shudder'd: each one was a loathly corpse,
Which then came painless, and Humility

The worm did banquet on his putrid prey,
Soon rescued them, and led to Penitence,

Yet had they life and feeling exquisite,
That she might lead to heaven.

Though motionless and mute.
From thence they came

« Most wretched men Where, in the next ward, a most wretched band Are these,» the angel cried. «These, JOAN, are bards Groan'd underneath the bitter tyrandy

Whose loose lascivious lays perpetuated Of a fierce demon. His coarse hair was red,

Their own corruption. Soul-polluted slaves, Pale grey his eyes, and blood-shot: and his face Who sate them down, deliberately lewd, Wrinkled by such a smile as malice wears

So to awake and pamper lust in minds In ecstacy. Well-pleased he went around,

Unborn; and therefore foul of body now Plunging his dagger in the hearts of some,

As then they were of soul, they here abide Or probing with a poison'd lance their breasts, Long as the evil works they left on earth Or placing coals of fire within their wounds;

Shall live to taint mankind. A dreadful doom!
Or seizing some within his mighty grasp,

Yet amply merited by that bad man
He fix'd them on a stake, and then drew back Who prostitutes the sacred gift of song! »
And Jaugh'd to see them writhe.

« These,» said the spirit, And now they reach'd a huge and massy pile, « Are taught by Cruelty, to loathe the lives

Massy it seem'd, and yet in every blast They led themselves. Here are those wicked men As to its ruin shook. There, porter fit, Who loved to exercise their tyrant power

Remorse for ever his sad vigils kept. On speechless brutes; bad husbands undergo

Pale, hollow-eyed, emaciate, sleepless wretch, A long purgation here; the traffickers

Inly he groan'd, or, starting, wildly shriek d, In human flesh here too are disciplined,

Aye as the fabric tottering from its base, Till by their suffering they have equall'd all

Threatened its fall, and so expectant still The miseries they inflicted, all the mass

Lived in the dread of danger still delay'd. Of wretchedness caused by the wars they waged, They enter'd there a large and lofty dome, The villages they burnt, the widows left

O'er whose black marble sides a dim drear light In want, the slave or led to suicide,

Struggled with darkness from the unfrequent lamp. Or murder'd by the foul infected air

Enthroned around, the murderers of mankind, Of his close dungeon, or, more sad than all,

Monarchs, the great! the glorious ! the august! His virtue lost, his very soul enslaved,

Each bearing on his brow a crown of fire, And driven by woe to wickedness.

Sat stern and silent. Nimrod, he was there,

First king, the mighty hunter; and that chief Whom thou beholdest in this dreary room,

Who did belie his mother's fame, that so So sullen, and with such an eye of hate

He might be called young Ammon. In this court Each on the other scowling, these have been

Caesar was crown'd, accurst libcrticide; False friends. Tormented by their own dark thoughts, And he who murdered Tully, that cold villain, llere they dwell: in the hollow of their hearts Octavius, though the courtly minion's lyre There is a worm that feeds, and though thou seest Hath hymn'd his praise, though Maro sang to him, That skilful leech who willingly would heal

And when death levell'd to original clay The ill they suffer, judging of all else

The royal carcass, Flattery, fawning low, By their own evil standar), they suspect

Fell at his feet, and worshipped the new god. The aid he vainly proffers, lengthening thus

Titus was here, 7 the conqueror of the Jews,
By vice its punishment.»

Ile the delight of human kind mis-named;
« But who are these,» Cæsars and Soldans, emperors and kings,
The Maid exclaim'd, « that, robed in flowing lawn, Here they were all, all who for glory fought,
And mitred, or in scarlet, and in caps,

Here in the court of glory, reaping now
Like cardinals, I see in every ward,

The meed they merited, Performing menial service at the beck

As gazing round
Of all who bid them?»

The Virgio mark'd the miserable train,
Theodore replied,

A deep and hollow voice from one went forth; « These men are they who in the name of Christ « Thou who art come to view our punishment, ilave heap'd up wealth, and arrogatiog power, Maiden of Orleans! hither turn thine eye,

These next,

For I am he whose bloody victories

And desolated nations; ever fill'd
Thy power hath rendered vain. Lo! I am here, With undetermined terror, as she heard
The hero conqueror of Agincourt,

Or distant screech-owl, or the regular beat
Henry of England !-wretched that I am,

Of evening death-watch.
I might have reigo'd in happiness and peace,

« Maid,» the spirit cried, My coffers full, my subjects undisturb'd,

« Here, robed in shadows, dwells Futurity.
And Plenty and Prosperity had loved

There is no eye hath seen her secret form,
To dwell amongst them : but mine eye beheld

For round the Mother of Time eternal mists
The realm of France, by faction tempest-torn,

Hover. If thou wouldst read the book of fate,
And therefore I did think that it would fall

Go in!»
An easy prey. I persecuted those

The Damsel for a moment paused, Who taught new doctrines, though they taught the Then to the angel spake: « All-gracious Heaven! truth:

Benigoant in withholding, liath denied
And when I heard of thousands by the sword

To man that knowledge. I, in faith assured,
Cut off, or blasted by the pestilence,

That he, my heavenly Father, for the best
I calmly counted up my proper gains,

Ordaineth all things, in that faith remain
And sent new herds to slaughter. Temperate

Contented.»
Myself, no blood that mutinicd, no vice

« Well and wisely hast thou said,» Tainting my private life, I sent abroad

So Theodore replied ; « and now, O Maid !
Murder and rape; and therefore am I doom'd,

Is there amid this boundless universe
Like these imperial sufferers, crown'd with fire, One whom thy soul would visit? Is there place
Here to remain, till man's awaken d eye

To memory dear, or vision'd out by hope,
Shall see the genuine blackness of our deeds,

Where thou wouldst now be present? Form the wish,
And waro'd by them, till the whole buman race, And I am with thee, there.»
Equalling in bliss the aggregate we caused

His closing speech
Of wretchedness, shall form one brotherhood, Yet sounded on her ear, and lo! they stood
One universal family of love.»

Swift as the sudden thought that guided them,
Within the little cottage that she loved.

« He sleeps! the good man sleeps!» enrapt she cried, BOOK NII,

As bending o'er her uncle's lowly bed
Her cye retraced his features. « See the beads

Which never morn nor night he fails to tell,
The Maiden, musing on the warrior's words,

Remembering me, his child, in every prayer.
Turn'd from the hall of glory. Now they reach'd Oh! quiet be thy sleep, thou dear old man!
A cavern, at whose mouth a genius stood,

Good angels guard thy rest! and when thine hour
In front a beardless youth, whose smiling eye

Is come, as gently mayest thou wake to life,
Beaın'd promise, but belind, wither'd and old, As when through yonder lattice the next sua
And all unlovely. Underneath his feet

Shall bid thee to thy morning orisons!»
Lay records (rampled, and the laurel-wreath
Now rept and faded : in his hand he held

« Thy voice is heard,» the angel guide rejoin'd,
An hour-glass, and as fall the restless sands,

« He sees thee in his dreams, he hears thee breathe
So pass the lives of men. By him they pass d Blessings, and happy is the good man's rest.
Along the darksome cave, and reach'd a streain, Thy fame has reach'd him, for who has not heard
Still rolling onward its perpetual waves,

Thy wondrous exploits? and his aged heart
Noiseless and undisturb'd. llere they ascend

Hath felt the deepest joy that ever yet
A bark unpiloted, that down the flood,

Made his glad blood flow fast. Sleep on, old Claude!
Borne by the current, rush'd. The circling stream, Peaceful, pure spirit, be thy sojourn here,
Returning to itself, an island formid;

And short and soon thy passage to that world
Nor had the Maiden's footsteps ever reach'd

Where friends shall part no more!
The insulated coast, eternally

Does thy soul own
Rape round the endless course; but Theodore

No other wish? or sleeps poor Madelon
Drove with an angel's will the obedient bark.

Forgotten in her gravel ...Seest thou yon star,»

The spirit pursued, regardless of her eye
They land; a mighty fabric meets their eyes,

That look'd reproach ; « seest thou that evening star
Seen by its gem-born light. Of adamant

Whose lovely light so often we belield
The pile was framd, for ever to abide

From yonder woodbine porch? how have we gazed
Firm in eternal strength. Before the gate

Into the dark deep sky, till the baftled soul,
Stood eayer Expectation, as to list

Lost in the infinite, return'd, and felt
The half-beard murmurs issuing from within, The burthen of ber bodily load, and yearn'd
Her mouth half-open'd and her head stretch'd forth For freedom! Maid, in yonder evening star
On the other side there stood an aged crone,

Lives thiy departed friend. I read that glauce,
Listening to every breath of air; she knew

And we are there!»
Vague suppositions and uncertain dreams,

He said, and they had past
Of what was soon to come, for she would mark The immeasurable space.
The little glow-worm's self-created light,

Then on her ear
And argue thence of kingdoms overthrown,

Thic lonely song of adoration rose,

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