How strange the sculptures that adorn these towers!

 

How strange the sculptures that adorn these towers!

  This crowd of statues, in whose folded sleeves

  Birds build their nests; while canopied with leaves

  Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers,

5And the vast minster seems a cross of flowers!

  But fiends and dragons on the gargoyled eaves

  Watch the dead Christ between the living thieves,

  And, underneath, the traitor Judas lowers!

Ah! from what agonies of heart and brain,

10  What exultations trampling on despair,

  What tenderness, what tears, what hate of wrong,

What passionate outcry of a soul in pain,

  Uprose this poem of the earth and air,

  This mediaeval miracle of song!