Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: IX
I stopped, I listened, and I entered in,
With half--a--dozen more, that sight to see.
``The Booth of Beauty,'' 'twas a name of sin
Which seemed to promise a new mystery.
There was a crowd already in the place,
And 'twixt me and the stage, now darkly hid,
The gathering evening had come down apace,
And all was dim within and overspread.
I know not by what instinct or mute proof
Of Providence it was, but this is true,
Even as I stepped 'neath that ignoble roof,
A prescience warned me there of portents new,
And a voice spoke with no uncertain sound
Warning me back as from ungodly ground.
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