(1895-1961 / East Orange, New Jersey)

XIV. 'Let all men see the ruins of the shrine'

Let all men see the ruins of the shrine
That I, with passionate and holy care,
Built long ago from laughter and despair
That godly love might have a fane divine.
Let the wide wings of darkness hover where
The god of youth once drank his rarest wine,
And let the rank breath of some poisoned vine
Choke the last sigh that lingers on the air.

Hurl the white sanctuary down, and bare
Its inmost secrets to the gaze of men,
Unveil the altar to the vulgar stare,
And let none seek it build it up agin;—
Ah, when the last wall crumbles, stone by stone,
I shall go hence that I may weep alone.

by Robert Silliman Hillyer

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