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The Young Novice
by [?]

The lights yet gleamed on the holy shrine, the incense hung around,
But the rites were o’er, the silent church re-echoed to no sound;
Yet kneeling there on the altar steps, absorbed in ardent prayer,
Is a girl, as seraph meek and pure–as seraph heav’nly fair.

The blue eyes, veiled by the lashes long that rest on that bright cheek
Are humbly bent, while the snow-white hands are clasped in fervor meek,
While in the classic lip and brow, each feature of that face,
And graceful high-bred air, is seen she comes of noble race.

But, say, what means that dusky robe, that dark and flowing veil,
The silver cross–oh! need we ask? they tell at once their tale:
They say that, following in the path that fair as she have trod,
She hath renounced a fleeting world, to give herself to God.

Her sinless heart to no gay son of this earth hath she given,
Her’s is a higher, holier lot, to be the Bride of Heaven;
And the calm peace of the cloister’s walls, abode of humble worth,
Is the fit home for that spotless dove, too fair, too pure for earth.