Back to top


Weary and pale as death from that great fray
Which rolled the seas of battle far and wide,
He stands without his tent ere fall of day.

And leans upon that Lance which pierced the side,
The virgin vanquisher of death and shame,
Clean from their blood who ere the dark have died.

In robe of gold, with eyes of stillest flame,
He worships through its chalice, crystal clear,
The awful wine from age the same.

O gentle stripling without stain or fear,
Scattering my thoughts like carrion shapes that fly,
Splendid in the dark place, what dost thou here?

Lovely he stands in quivering panoply,
So that my trembling fingers barely touch
Those scarred boys' hands intense with purity.
Additional Information:
A translation of the French poem written by Paul Verlaine, which may be found here.