At dusk, the city’s closing down,
With scant pedestrians around;
The doors of oak are firmly closed,
From which it might well be supposed
That all is quiet now, within.
And so it is: the darkness falls
Upon the empty quire stalls,
Where hymns are sung with ringing voice,
To One who, knowing wrongful choice,
Grants frank forgiveness of our sin.
Long gone, the watchful verger, who
Prepared the testaments anew
And, in the ancient honour, led
The priest, and sat while prayers were said,
Departing to his home and kin.
Then comes the silence on the nave,
And chapels to the good and brave,
On chapter house and vestibule,
Where men in power once met to rule,
With benedictine discipline.
The cloisters square the heavenly ground,
Where quickly-closing flowers are found;
No waters through the sculpture flow,
To patter lily pads below,
In contrast to the traffic din.
Behind the window glows the lamp,
To warm the soul through cold and damp,
It’s constancy of comfort dear
To all who ponder, making clear
The light of love still bright, within.