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Italy : 4. The Great St. Bernard

Night was again descending, when my mule,
That all day long had climbed among the clouds,
Higher and higher still, as by a stair
Let down from heaven itself, transporting me,
Stopped, to the joy of both, at that low door,
That door which ever, as self-opened, moves
To them that knock, and nightly sends abroad
Ministering Spirits. Lying on the watch,
Two dogs of grave demeanour welcomed me,
All meekness, gentleness, tho' large of limb;

And a lay-brother of the Hospital,
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