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a web of many textures

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Radbod, the pagan chief, had bowed his head
To teachings of the holy word, and then
He came the last grand offering to perform, —
Within the holy font to wash away
The trace of heathen sin that yet remained.
He turned him to the priest: “Pray tell me true,
O, man of God, where are my fathers now,
Where are my kindred, and the loving ones
Snatched from my bosom by remorseless death?”
One foot immersed, he stood the fate to hear
Of those whose memory still was priceless held.
“Alas, my son, they lift their eyes in realms
Where unbelievers shall forever dwell!”
Then Radbod said, as proudly he looked up,
His dark eye flashing with the loving light
That burned within, an ever-constant flame,
“Where'er my kindred bide, there too will I, —
Whether within the blest abode of those
Redeemed and singing their celestial joy,
Or where the darkness is forever felt
In depths of an unutterable woe.
As God loves me, so do I love my race.”
No more; he straightway from the font withdrew
His dripping foot, nor could entreaty move
His faithful soul to forfeiture of love
And union with his kindred in the land
Where soul meets soul, — and so the heathen died.