My Lattice and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

IDOLS


 

IN each man’s heart a secret temple stands
    For rites idolatrous of praise and prayer;
    And dusky idols through the incensed air,
On single thrones, or grouped in curious bands,
Gaze at the lamp which swings in memory’s hands,—
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    Some richly carved, with face of beauty rare,
    Some with brute heads and bosoms foul and bare,
Yet crowned with gold and gems from distant lands.

Take now thy torch, descend the winding years,
    The silent stair-way to thy secret shrine,

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        And see what Dagon crowns the topmost shelf
With front aggressive, served through hopes and fears
    In ceaseless cult by love that counts divine
        His every blemish,—is not Dagon SELF?