A Spanish Anecdote.

It was a holy usage to record,1
Upon each refectory’s side or end,2
The last mysterious Supper of our Lord,3
That meanest appetites might upward tend.4
Within the convent-palace of old Spain,5
Rich with the gifts and monuments of Kings,6
Hung such a picture, said by some to reign7
The sov’reign glory of those wond’rous things.8
A Painter of far fame, in deep delight,9
Dwelt on each beauty he so well discern’d,10
While, in low tones, a grey Geronomite11
This answer to his extasy returned :—12
Stranger ! I have received my daily meal13
In this good company, now threescore years,14
And thou, whoe’er thou art, canst hardly feel15
How time these lifeless images endears.16
Lifeless—ah ! no : both faith and art have given17
That passing hour a life of endless rest,18
And every soul who loves the food of Heaven,19
May to that table come a welcome guest :20
Lifeless—ah ! no : while in mine heart are stored21
Sad memories of my brethren changed or gone,22
Familiar places vacant round our board,23
And still that silent supper lasting on ;—24
While I review my youth,—what I was then,—25
What I am now, and ye ! beloved ones all !26
It seems as if these were the living men,27
And we the coloured shadows on the wall.”28