The lights yet gleamed on the holy shrine, the incense hung around,
But the rites were o'er, the silent church re-echoed to no sound;
Yet kneeling there on the altar steps, absorbed in ardent prayer,
Is a girl, as seraph meek and pure - as seraph heav'nly fair.
The blue eyes, veiled by the lashes long that rest on that bright cheek
Are humbly bent, while the snow-white hands are clasped in fervor meek,
While in the classic lip and brow, each feature of that face,
And graceful high-bred air, is seen she comes of noble race.
But, say, what means that dusky robe, that dark and flowing veil,
The silver cross - oh! need we ask? they tell at once their tale:
They say that, following in the path that fair as she have trod,
She hath renounced a fleeting world, to give herself to God.
Her sinless heart to no gay son of this earth hath she given,
Her's is a higher, holier lot, to be the Bride of Heaven;
And the calm peace of the cloister's walls, abode of humble worth,
Is the fit home for that spotless dove, too fair, too pure for earth.