18. There on the altar was his image set, The lamp before it burning night and day, And there was incensed, when his votaries met Before the sacred shrine, their beads to say, And for his fancied intercession pray, Devoutly as in faith they bent the knee. Such adoration they were taught to pay;

Good man, how little had he ween'd that he Should thus obtain a place in Rome's idolatry !

19. But chiefly there the Mother of our Lord, His blessed daughter, by the multitude Was for their special patroness adored. Amid the square on high her image stood, Clasping the Babe in her beatitude, The Babe Divine on whom she fix'd her sight; And in their hearts, albe the work was rude,

It rais'd the thought of all-commanding might, Combin'd with boundless love and mercy infinite.

20. To this great family the Jesuit brought His new-found children now; for young and old He deem'd alike his children while he wrought For their salvation, ... seeking to unfold The saving mysteries in the creed enroll'd, To their slow minds, that could but ill conceive The import of the mighty truths he told.

But errors they have none to which they cleave, And whatsoe'er he tells they willingly believe.

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Safe from that pride of ignorance were they
That with small knowledge thinks itself full wise.
How at believing aught should these delay,
When every where new objects met their eyes
To fill the soul with wonder and surprise ?
Not of itself, but by temptation bred,
In man doth impious unbelief arise;

It is our instinct to believe and dread,
God bids us love, and then our faith is perfected.

Quick to believe, and slow to comprehend,
Like children, unto all the teacher taught
Submissively an easy ear they lend :
And to the font at once he might have brought
These converts, if the Father had not thought
Theirs was a case for wise and safe delay,
Lest lightly learnt might lightly be forgot ;

And meanwhile due instruction day by day
Would to their opening minds the sense of truth convey.

Of this they reck'd not whether soon or late ;
For overpowering wonderment possest
Their faculties; and in this new estate
Strange sights and sounds and thoughts well nigh

Their sense, and raised a turmoil in the breast
Resenting less of pleasure than of pain ;
And sleep afforded them no natural rest,

But in their dreams, a mixed disorder'd train,
The busy scenes of day disturb’d their hearts again.

24. Even when the spirit to that secret wood Return'd, slow Mondai's silent stream beside, No longer there it found the solitude Which late it left: strange faces were descried, Voices, and sounds of music far and wide, And buildings seem'd to tower amid the trees, And forms of men and beasts on every side,

As ever wakeful fancy hears and sees, All things that it had heard, and seen, and more

than these.


For in their sleep strange forms deform’d they saw
Of frightful fiends, their ghostly enemies,
And souls who must abide the rigorous law
Weltering in fire, and there with dolorous cries
Blaspheming roll around their hopeless eyes ;
And those who doom'd a shorter term to bear
In penal flames, look upward to the skies,

Seeking and finding consolation there, And feel, like dew from heaven, the precious aid of prayer.

26. And Angels who around their glorious Queen In adoration bent their heads abased; And infant faces in their dreams were seen Hovering on cherub-wings; and Spirits placed To be their guards invisible, who chased With fiery arms their fiendish foes away : Such visions overheated fancy traced,

Peopling the night with a confused array That made its hours of rest more restless than the day.

27. To all who from an old erratic course Of life, within the Jesuit's fold were led, The change was perilous. They felt the force Of habit, when till then in forests bred, A thick perpetual umbrage overhead, They came to dwell in open light and air. This ill the Fathers long had learnt to dread,

And still devised such means as might prepare The new-reclaim'd unhurt this total change to bear.

28. All thoughts and occupations to commute, To change their air, their water, and their food, And those old habits suddenly uproot Conform’d to which the vital powers pursued Their functions, such mutation is too rude For man's fine frame unshaken to sustain. And these poor children of the solitude

Began ere long to pay the bitter pain That their new way of life brought with it in its train.

29. On Monnema the apprehended ill Came first; the matron sunk beneath the weight Of a strong malady, whose force no skill In healing might avert, or mitigate. Yet happy in her children's safe estate Her thankfulness for them she still exprest ; And yielding then complacently to fate,

With Christian rites her passing hour was blest, And with a Christian's hope she was consign’d to rest.

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30. They laid her in the Garden of the Dead ; Such as a Christian burial-place should be Was that fair spot, where every grave was spread With flowers, and not a weed to spring was free ; But the pure blossoms of the Dropt like a shower of fragrance on the bier ; And palms, the type of immortality,

Planted in stately colonnades appear, That all was verdant there throughout the unvarying year.

Nor ever did irreverent feet intrude
Within that sacred spot; nor sound of mirth,
Unseemly there, profane the solitude,
Where solemnly committed earth to earth,
Waiting the summons for their second birth,
Whole generations in Death's peaceful fold
Collected lay; green innocence, ripe worth,

Youth full of hope, and age whose days were told, Compress'd alike into that mass of mortal mould.

32, Mortal, and yet at the Archangel's voice To put on immortality. That call Shall one day make the sentient dust rejoice; These bodies then shall rise and cast off all Corruption, with whate'er of earthly thrall Had clogg'd the heavenly image, then set free. How then should Death a Christian's heart appal ?

Lo, Heaven for you is open ;... enter ye Children of God, and heirs of his eternity!

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