by Alfred Austin
Although no stupid scoffer, I
Am wholly at a loss
To apprehend the reason why
You kiss Lorenzo's Cross.
For though indeed a hundred days'
Indulgence thus you win,
There does not move a lip but says
That you did never sin.
Ha! but I did not read the whole.
I see it now; the gain
May be applied to any soul
In purgatorial pain.
And oh, how many spirits lie
In such sad bondage through
Having too often passed it by
Whilst gazing after you!
They longed, instead, your lips to kiss;
Their wish, though vain, was clear;
They fondly thought they would by this
Make sure of heaven here.
Indulgence each your lip acquires,
On them it doth bestow;
And you who lighted here their fires,
Do quench their flames below.
And so you soothe-'tis only fair-
The souls you lately vexed.
'Tis lucky you have grace to spare
For this world and-the next.
Last updated January 14, 2019