Alice Duer Miller

(28 July 1874 - 22 August 1942 / New York City, New York)

Batalha - Poem by Alice Duer Miller

IN this still cloister where the roses grow
Waist-high between the arches and the well,
You would have walked a thousand years ago,
So faithful, who are now so infidel;
You would have fancied your wild heart's emotion
Over the beauty of a scene like this,
A mystic piety, a pure devotion ­
And so, perhaps, it is.

Under the shade of column and of tracing,
Here in the dusk, where swallows dart and fly,
Barefoot and cowled, I think I see you pacing,
Brooding o'er thoughts of subtle mystery;
Fasting and prayer, and music and desire
Weaving a mood that men no longer know -
Oh, yes, my dear, you would have been a friar,
A thousand years ago.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 15, 2012

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