The Gothic silhouette and flying spire
Address the campus with a confidence
Inherited from buttresses and choirs
Adapted to the Catholic skies of France.
If at the swinging summons of the bell
The snow-blind distance gradually revealed
A feudal Sunday’s lost processional
Of ox-drawn peasants and their mounted lord,
It would be less surprising than the sight
Of so few Christians in these ranks of pews,
Who gather out of homesickness or habit
To hear the echoes of the old good news—
Waiting until the concrete dorms decay
For these stone arches’ rediscoverer
To envy or regret the certainty
Of dead parishioners that never were.