Upon a Flemish road, when noon was deep,
I passed a little consecrated shrine,
Where, among simple pictures ranged in line,
The blessed Mary holds her child asleep.
To kneel here, shepherd-maidens leave their sheep
When they feel grave because of the sunshine,
And again kneel here in the day's decline;
And here, when their life ails them, come to weep.
Night being full, I passed on the same road
By the same shrine; within, a lamp was lit
Which through the silence of clear darkness glowed.
Thus, when life's heat is past and doubts arise
Darkling, the lamp of Faith must strengthen it,
Which sometimes will not light and sometimes dies.

More verses by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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