To Lincoln Cathedral

HAIL, awful pile! Child of Time's midnight age,
Now Mother in its youth renewed! The tomb
Of regal priests who banqueted on joys
Wrung from the peasants' woes: disciples strange
Of Him whose coat was woven without a seam
Throughout; who had not where to lay His head!
Great sepulchre of haughty gloom and grandeur—
Bestriding earth, like as thy shrinèd dead,
While living, did bestride the human mind—
Thy veritable being, which thy frown
Stamps on our consciousness so solemnly,
Would seem, like shapes in fables of thy times,
A phantom too unreal for our belief,
Were we not witnesses that oft the mind,
Disordered and oppressed by strong disease,
Creates, in throes of thought, its images
Of gorgeous dress and stature giantlike—
Dwarfing the voluntary portraitures
Sketched by Thought's pencil in the hours of health.

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