In a Church of Padua

In vaulted place where shadows flit, 
An upright sombre box you see: 
A door, but fast, and lattice none.
But punctured holes minutely small 
In lateral silver panel square 
Above a kneeling-board without, 
Suggest an aim if not declare. 

Who bendeth here the tremulous knee 
No glimpse may get of him within, 
And he immured may hardly see 
The soul confessing there the sin; 
Nor yields the low-sieved voice a tone 
Whereby the murmurer may be known. 

Dread diving-bell! In thee inurned 
What hollows the priest must sound, 
Descending into consciences 
Where more is hid than found.

This poem is in the public domain.