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PURGATORIO.

S

I ENTER, and I see thee in the gloom

Of the long aisles, O poet saturnine !
And strive to make my steps keep pace with thine.

The air is filled with some unknown perfume;
The congregation of the dead make room

For thee to pass ; the votive tapers shine ;
Like rooks that haunt Ravenna's groves of pine

The hovering echoes fly from tomb to tomb.
From the confessionals I hear arise

Rehearsals of forgotten tragedies,

And lamentations from the crypts below ;
And then a voice celestial that begins

With the pathetic words, “ Although your sins
As scarlet be,” and ends with “as the snow.”

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