The Court Of Penance By Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

The Court Of Penance

Behold the Court of Penance. Four gaunt walls
Shutting out all things but the upper heaven.
Stone flags for floor, where daily from their stalls
The human cattle in a circle driven
Tread down their pathway to a mire uneven,
Pale–faced, sad–eyed, and mute as funerals.
Woe to the wretch whose weakness unforgiven
Falters a moment in the track or falls!

Yet is there consolation. Overhead
The pigeons build and the loud jackdaws talk,
And once in the wind’s eye, like a ship moored,
A sea–gull flew and I was comforted.
Even here the heavens declare thy glory, Lord,
And the free firmament thy handiwork.

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