Infidels

By George Sterling

Cold and eternal stare his eyes of stone,
    As now, adored across the templed gloom,
    The graven god exalts his granite room.
Implacably his acolytes intone:
The smitten gong makes answer in a groan;
    Slowly the azures of the worship fume,
    Phantoms awhile of that enduring tomb,
And "Life is evil!" now the bonzes drone.

Without, a darkness passionate with breath
    Of unseen flowers-a fragrance at the shrine
Of two that lie incredulous of death.
        The grass is cool beneath her, and the night
    Holds, as a rose her immaterial wine,
        The moan and murmur of the old delight.

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