Rheims (Poem by Frank Oliver Call)

Daily Classic Poem

By Frank Oliver Call

In royal splendour rose the house of prayer,
    Its mystic gloom arched over by the flight
    Of soaring vault; above the nave's dim night
Rich gleamed the painted windows wondrous fair.
Sweet chimes and chanting mingled in the air;
    Blue clouds of incense dimmed the vaulted height;
    And on the altar, like a beacon light,
The gold cross glittered in the candles' glare.

To-day no bells, no choirs, no incense cloud,
    For thou, O Rheims art prey of evil powers;
But with a voice a thousand times more loud
    Than siege-guns echoing round thy shattered towers,
Do thy mute bells to all the world proclaim
Thy martyred glory and thy foeman's shame.

June, 1916

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