Wandering past an old cathedral wall
Where goblins with their growling faces glared
From stony turrets piercing through the pall
And griffins glowered with their grey teeth bared,
I sensed a pressing, lorn, long-stifled masque
Of chiseled players thrusting to the sky.
Such life in bloodless lips! They bade me ask
How spirits so congealed could seem to sigh.
Conceived to guard this sanctum’s sacred power,
These creatures clogged the scene with airs profane:
Suggestions—doubtful, dolorous, and dour—
That neither walls nor sky could quite contain.
What demonry must well within my bones
That I should shrink at beastly, sculpted stones!