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The Humble Home
by [?]

(“L’eglise est vaste et haute.”)

The Church[1] is vast; its towering pride, its steeples loom on high;
The bristling stones with leaf and flower are sculptured wondrously;
The portal glows resplendent with its “rose,”
And ‘neath the vault immense at evening swarm
Figures of angel, saint, or demon’s form,
As oft a fearful world our dreams disclose.
But not the huge Cathedral’s height, nor yet its vault sublime,
Nor porch, nor glass, nor streaks of light, nor shadows deep with time;
Nor massy towers, that fascinate mine eyes;
No, ’tis that spot–the mind’s tranquillity–
Chamber wherefrom the song mounts cheerily,
Placed like a joyful nest well nigh the skies.

Yea! glorious is the Church, I ween, but Meekness dwelleth here;
Less do I love the lofty oak than mossy nest it bear;
More dear is meadow breath than stormy wind:
And when my mind for meditation’s meant,
The seaweed is preferred to the shore’s extent,–
The swallow to the main it leaves behind.

Translated by Author of “Critical Essays.”

[Footnote 1: The Cathedral Notre Dame of Paris, which is the scene of the
author’s romance, “Notre Dame.”]