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Consider the fierce stone features of its face
a vaccination of demonic strain,
a backfire lit on purpose to contain
hell’s wildfire outside this glade of grace.
For if the tale is true, it’s put in place
to scare the scarer”a sort of devil’s bane
that guards the Lord Christ’s castle and domain,
protecting teaching seat and sacred space.

But subtler, more clever than that tale,
the architect who realized that the course
of rain from roof to street below could flow
through mocking masks avenged the first betrayal:
Making downspouts of demons, he would force
Satan to carry water for his Foe.