Just a measured mile away,1
In the lovely Breton Bay,2
In the flush of sunset lay3
The Island of Cezembres.4
And in the whispering gloaming time5
Woke memories of the master’s rhyme,6
And made Shalott’s sweet echoes chime,7
About unknown Cezembres.8
Here there gleams no running river,9
Where “ light breezes dusk and shiver,”10
But the great seas sway for ever,11
All around Cezembres ;12
No “ tall towers” to guard the land,13
But flowery turf and golden sand,14
And grey rocks, that, grim and grand,15
Guard all remote Cezembres.16
Did Sir Tristram hither come,17
From timid bride and alien home,18
Weary of his yearning dumb,19
To dream in still Cezembres ?20
And in his harp’s wild melodies,21
Fling “Iseulte, Iseulte” to the seas,22
Sigh “Iseulte, Iseulte” to the breeze,23
That swept across Cezembres ?24
Nay, a holier tale and his,25
Of fiery passion placed amiss,26
The legend of the island is,27
The glory of Cezembres.28
For when fair France felt fear and blood,29
Sweep across her like a flood,30
The shelter for the Holy Rood,31
Men found in lone Cezembres.32
Here in stealth and dread they came,33
Noble, burgher, peasant, dame ;34
Brave priests in the Holiest Name35
Taught in fair Cezembres ;36
And here the Host was raised on high ;37
And here beneath the midnight sky,38
Men knelt, when kneeling meant to die,39
To worship in Cezembres.40
Hallowed in the rock it stands,41
The painful work of faithful hands ;42
Witness to cold sneering lands,43
The chapel at Cezembres.44
And over it the wild winds blow,45
And under it the wild waves flow,46
As in the Terror long ago,47
When God blessed still Cezembres.48
With a hushed and reverent awe,49
We strangers to its threshold draw ;50
What though we own a purer law51
Than that of old Cezembres.52
Who dare question, doubt, or mock,53
Where still adorning pilgrims flock,54
To the low shrine beneath the rock,55
That hallows all Cezembres ?56