After Seeing Pius IX

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan


I saw his face to-day; he looks a chief
Who fears not human rage, nor human guile;
Upon his cheeks the twilight of a grief,
But in that grief the starlight of a smile.
Deep, gentle eyes, with drooping lids that tell
They are the homes where tears of sorrow dwell;
A low voice -- strangely sweet -- whose very tone
Tells how these lips speak oft with God alone.
I kissed his hand, I fain would kiss his feet;
"No, no," he said; and then, in accents sweet,
His blessing fell upon my bended head.
He bade me rise; a few more words he said,
Then took me by the hand -- the while he smiled --
And, going, whispered: "Pray for me, my child."

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