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      To a Friend in Death:


A pallid taper its long prayer recites
Before the altar, where the censers spread
Their lifting clouds, and bells toll out their dread,
In grief's delirious sanctuary rites.

There—like the poor Assisian—invites
A cloistered form the peace All-Hallowéd;
Against the dismal portals of the dead
Resting his weary brows for heavenly flights.

Grant me the honey-taste of the Divine;
Grant me the ancient parchments' ruddy sign
Of holy psalmody to read and prize!

For I would mount the heights immortal crowned,
Where the dark night is 'mid the glories drowned,
And gaze on God, into His azure eyes!


Guillermo Valencia
Translation by Thomas Walsh

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