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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. 17



(Born 1878)

THE incense at the altar slowly burns
Swayed in the silver censer to and fro;
Around the crucifix it coils and turns,
The brows of saints it wreathes with misty glow.

And tremulous petitions, long drawn out,
Beneath the lofty arches faint away;
To weary eyes the candles round about
Heave as they flicker with their pallid ray.

The sacred columns, grey and mouldering,
Support a veil that stirs with voiceless sobs.
Beneath it, like the incense smouldering,
A woman's darkened heart in anguish throbs.

Consumed within the censer now, and burned,
The incense through the boundless ether soars.
What Matter was to Fragrance sweet is turned--
The cleansing fire its purity restores.

Nor shall that woman's smouldering heart be freed,--
Saved from its cold and adamantine shell,--
Till it is melted, tried, and cleansed indeed,
Till the pure flames shall all its dross expel!


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