The Church

A poem by Matthew Arnold

Upon the glistening leaden roof
Of the new Pile, the sunlight shines;
The stream goes leaping by.
The hills are clothed with pines sun-proof;
’Mid bright green fields, below the pines,
Stands the Church on high.
What Church is this, from men aloof?
’Tis the Church of Brou.

At sunrise, from their dewy lair
Crossing the stream, the kine are seen
Round the wall to stray;
The churchyard wall that clips the square
Of open hill-sward fresh and green
Where last year they lay.
But all things now are order’d fair
Round the Church of Brou.

On Sundays, at the matin chime,
The Alpine peasants, two and three,
Climb up here to pray;
Burghers and dames, at summer’s prime,
Ride out to church from Chambery,
Dight with mantles gay.
But else it is a lonely time
Round the Church of Brou.

On Sundays, too, a priest doth come
From the wall’d town beyond the pass,
Down the mountain-way;
And then you hear the organ’s hum,
You hear the white-robed priest say mass,
And the people pray.
But else the woods and fields are dumb
Round the Church of Brou.

And after church, when mass is done,
The people to the nave repair
Round the tomb to stray;
And marvel at the Forms of stone,
And praise the chisell’d broideries rare.
Then they drop away.
The princely Pair are left alone
In the Church of Brou.

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