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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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74                               BYGONE SUSSEX.
elsewhere, and since 1883, Wilmington has lost the untouched appearance that delights the archaeologist, although it may not always have the same charm for the parson and his flock. Some of the arches at Wilmington appear to be cut out of the chalk. There is a finely-carved pulpit with an elaborate canopy which well repay examination ; but what has become of the grotesque figure which formerly decorated the western wall ? There is no one visible to answer this question. Next to the church are some ruins of an Augustinian priory, and from the churchyard there is an extensive view of char-Are there no sinners in the churchless week,
Who wish to sanctify a vowed repentance? Are there no hearts bereft which fain would seek The only balm for Death's unpitying sentence ? Why are they shut ?
Are there no poor, no wronged, no heir of grief,
No sick who, when their strength or courage falters,
Long for a moment's respite or relief, By kneeling at God of mercy's altars? Why are they shut ?
Are there no wicked whom, if tempted in,
Some qualm of conscience or devout suggestion Might suddenly redeem from future sin?
O, if there be, how solemn is the question— Why are they shut ?
In foreign climes mechanics leave their tasks
To breath a passing prayer in their cathedrals, There they have week-day shrines, and no one asks
When he would kneel to them and count his head-rolls— Why are they shut ?
Seeing them enter sad and disconcerted, To quit those cheering fanes with looks of gladness,—
How often have my thoughts to ours reverted ! How oft have I exclaimed in tones of sadness— Why are they shut
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