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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

In a Gothic Church

By Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907)

From the ‘Poesie’: Translation of Frank Sewall

THEY rise aloft, marching in awful file,

The polished shafts immense of marble gray,

And in the sacred darkness seem to be

An army of giants

Who wage a war with the invisible;

The silent arches soar and spring apart

In distant flight, then re-embrace again

And droop on high.

So in the discord of unhappy men,

From out their barbarous tumult there go up

To God the sighs of solitary souls

In Him united.

Of you I ask no God, ye marble shafts,

Ye airy vaults! I tremble—but I watch

To hear a dainty well-known footstep waken

The solemn echoes.

’Tis Lidia, and she turns, and slowly turning,

Her tresses full of light reveal themselves,

And love is shining from a pale shy face

Behind the veil.