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A Winter Scene by John Hamner

"Chacun pourtant conservera son culte" (de Beranger)

It is the winter, sharp and suddenly
His angel frost hath breathed upon the land:
Tartuffe now at the chancel door doth stand
Dispensing loaves from others' charity,
And round about him come a hungry band
With piteous voice and asking eyes, but he
A little backward sheltered from the wind,
A book turns over, for the Church must be
Maintained, and therein all who are behind
With Easter dues are writ; it is poverty
Moves them, but duty stern his reverence;
The loaves were given the Church, with pious mind,
And justly they by wanting must be fined,
Although it grieves him, till they pay their pence.

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