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IV (continued)

460In the midst of the strife and tumult of angry contention,
Lo! the door of the chancel opened, and Father Felician
Entered, with serious mien, and ascended the steps of the altar.
Raising his reverend hand, with a gesture he awed into silence
All that clamorous throng; and thus he spake to his people;
465Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful
Spake he, as, after the tocsin's alarum, distinctly the clock strikes.
'What is this that ye do, my children? what madness has seized you?
Forty years of my life have I labored among you, and taught you,
Not in word alone, but in deed, to love one another!
470Is this the fruit of my toils, of my vigils and prayers and privations?
Have you so soon forgotten all lessons of love and forgiveness?
This is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane it
Thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred?
Lo! where the crucified Christ from his cross is gazing upon you!
475See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion!
Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, “O Father, forgive them!”
Let us repeat that prayer in the hour when the wicked assail us,
Let us repeat it now, and say, “O Father, forgive them!'”
Few were his words of rebuke, but deep in the hearts of his people
480Sank they, and sobs of contrition succeeded the passionate outbreak,
While they repeated his prayer, and said, 'O Father, forgive them!'

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