Now Purgatory opens. Holy Souls
From the dread house of pain are pouring forth
In millions, like a mighty wave that rolls
Landwards. They seek the friends they left on earth.
Autumnal blasts are moaning in the trees;
Each trembling bough is groaning as it bends.
But louder, sadder than the sobbing breeze,
Rings the Souls’ cry – “Have pity on us, friends!”
The spirits of the Dead are passing by;
They knock on door, they tap on window pane.
We do not see them but we hear their cry,
And in our souls we know they’ve come again.
Ah! here is love’s, and here is friendship’s test.
They shiver in the cold outside the door;
“We cannot help ourselves, we cannot rest.
Your prayers is all the help which we implore.
Your prayers can lift us out of torture dire;
Your prayers can bring us bliss that never ends.
Your prayers can snatch us out of burning fire.
Have pity, O! have pity on us, friends!”
November’s dead leaves now drift past,
November’s blast the forest bends.
But sadder than the wailing blast
Is that soul cry: “Have pity, friend!”
“Help! help!” that cry rings down the years.
“We seek not tears, nor vain regret;
We plead for prayers, but not for tears.
O help us, friends! to pay our debt!