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HE lights extinguished; by the hearth

I leant, Half weary with a listless discontent. The flickering giant-shadows, gathering near, Closed round me with a dim and silent fear. All dull, all dark; save when the leaping flame, Glancing, lit up a Picture's ancient frame. Above the hearth it hung. Perhaps the night, My foolish tremors, or the gleaming light, Lent power to that Portrait dark and quaint— A Portrait such as Rembrandt loved to paint— The likeness of a Nun. I seemed to trace A world of sorrow in the patient face,


In the thin hands folded across her breast—
Its own and the room's shadow hid the rest.
I gazed and dreamed, and the dull embers stirred,
Till an old legend that I once had heard
Came back to me; linked to the mystic gloom
Of that dark Picture in the ghostly room.

In the far south, where clustering vines are hung;
Where first the old chivalric lays were sung;
Where earliest smiled that gracious child of France,
Angel and knight and fairy, called Romance,
I stood one day. The warm blue June was spread
Upon the earth; blue summer overhead,
Without a cloud to fleck its radiant glare,
Without a breath to stir its sultry air.
All still, all silent, save the sobbing rush
Of rippling waves, that lapsed in silver hush
Upon the beach; where, glittering towards the

The purple Mediterranean kissed the land.

All still, all peaceful; when a convent chime
Broke on the mid-day silence for a time,
Then trembling into quiet, seemed to cease,

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