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Bert Lutman


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The Western Towers
Gone to Earth
The Roman Well
At Ravenscar
After Sunset
An Altar at Cilurnum
A Chorister
The Great East Window
The Hunters of Banna
The Legion goes North
Lines in October
The Maiden Way
A Song of Forgetting
St Cuthbert's Quest
St Cuthbert's Windows
The Ringers
The Snail
The Street
Traveller's Joy
Wind at Night








From artless fields, as any robin might

That flies to my door and sings and goes again,

This country child to whom the seraphin

Have lent a few heaven’s notes, morning and night

Sings in the House of Houses God’s high praise,

Gathers the crumbs, and goes his light-heart ways.


The spiritual wisdom secret in the stone;

That ageless cross, and all the fugue of the years;

The spikenard of a thousand hearts in tears

To his young spirit are as dimly known

As is my love to robin when he sees

A hand uplift to give, and fears, and flees.


What paradox this to put the mighty down

And laughingly lift them of low degree

That, thinking of homework and of what’s for tea

He, fidgeting a little under his master’s frown

Sings tragic Mary’s high magnificat

And words the great archangels wonder at!


And yet, what mother-wisdom has he read

In the great church, what faith the heavens believe,

That this small songster, on the New Year’s eve,

Should sit wide-eyed at midnight in his bed

Rapt that through woods and quiet meadows swells

The strange, wild beauty of the Minster bells?


Whose is the touch has opened his young eyes

When in the street he breathes with sudden awe,

Yet quickly turns, pretends he never saw,

Chattering too hastily of goals and tries,

While winter sunset heaping miraculous flowers

Burns with a glory on the western towers?


Maybe the poet, the predestined seer

Is here by childhood’s genius forestalled;

Or chosen he is among the many called;

Maybe a viewless priesthood ministers here

To another Samuel, with unknown intent,

Beauty’s imperishable sacrament.



Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]