Above her marble couch was
A monumental shrine,
Where cloistered sisters gathering round,
Made night and morn the aisle resound
With choristry divine.
The abbess died; and in her
Her parting mandate said
They should her final rest provide,
The alabaster couch beside,
Where slept the sainted dead.
The abbess came of princely
The nuns might not gainsay;
And sadly passed the timid band,
To execute the high command
They dared not disobey.
The monument was opened then;
It gave to general sight
The alabaster couch alone;
But all its lucid substance shone
With preternatural light.
They laid the corpse within
They closed its doors again;
But nameless terror seemed to fall,
Throughout the livelong night, on all
Who formed the funeral train.
Lo! on the morrow morn, still
The monument was found;
But in its robes funereal drest,
The corse they had consigned to rest
Lay on the stony ground.
Fear and amazement seized
They called on Mary’s aid;
And in the tomb, unclosed again,
With choral hymn and funeral train,
The corse again was laid.
But with the incorruptible
Corruption might not rest;
The lonely chapel’s stone-paved floor
Received the ejected corse once more,
In robes funereal drest.
So was it found when morning
In solemn suppliant strain
The nuns implored all saints in heaven,
That rest might to the corse be given,
Which they entombed again.
On the third night a watch
By many a friar and nun;
Trembling, all knelt in fervent prayer,
Till on the dreary midnight air
Rolled the deep bell-toll “One!”
The saint within the opening
Like marble statue stood;
All fell to earth in deep dismay;
And through their ranks she passed away,
In calm unchanging mood.
No answering sound her footsteps
Along the stony floor;
Silent as death, severe as fate,
She glided through the chapel gate,
And none beheld her more.
The alabaster couch was gone;
The tomb was void and bare;
For the last time, with hasty rite,
Even ’mid the terror of the night,
They laid the abbess there.
’Tis said the abbess
rests not well
In that sepulchral pile;
But yearly, when the night comes round
As dies of “one” the bell’s deep sound
She flits along the aisle.
But whither passed the virgin
To slumber far away,
Destined by Mary to endure,
Unaltered in her semblance pure,
Until the judgment day!
DAVID SHAW, HERO.
BY JAMES BUCKHAM.
The saviour, and not the slayer, he is the braver
So far my text—but the story? Thus, then, it runs; from Spokane
Rolled out the overland mail train, late by an hour. In the cab
David Shaw, at your service, dressed in his blouse of drab.
Grimed by the smoke and the cinders. “Feed her well, Jim,” he said;
(Jim was his fireman.) “Make up time!” On and on they sped;