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

 

 

 

   

 

SAINT CUTHBERTíS QUEST

 

Not far he sailed, and yet how utterly far!

His islands lie in the milky sea like lambs

In clover asleep, so well they keep

Sea-hid the savagedoms they are.

 

With twice ten thousand hungry birds distraught

The tortured rocks frustrate a hungry sea.

The sinister bell of the plunging swell

Periods a babel beyond thought.

 

The wind unsanctuaried blows alway

From the great loneliness to the alone.

Night has no crumb of love, and dumb

All the humanities of day.

 

Yet there he won the spiritís dear release.

Losing a world he overcame the world.

Heard in the stress of holiness

The labouring heart of peace.

 

Procudalus, you loved him from a lad;

Speak to us from the mists; what was his quest?

Or whose the word he overheard?

What was the tryst he had?

 

The secret perchance which Jesus breathed to John

Password to Life Eternal, the master key

That shared unlocks lifeís paradox, --

At that last meal ere night came on.


Or, lesser vision, he saw on the sea night

What Paul saw blinded on the Roman way,

Nor could review the half he knew

Of the mindís dark fire, the light of light.

 

Perhaps on Farne, another Patmos, he

Described the gleam, the multitudinous song

Of that far-pearled and ultimate world

John knew in his ecstasy.

 

We cannot tell. We have too widely strayed

From wisdom, lost in knowledge, and surfeit

With traffickings in sightless things

To make the voyaging he made.

 

For us remains the bleak and strident shore,

Untempled now, and bombs on Lmdisfame,

For us no sign on the sea line,

No voices on the waters any more.

 

 
 
   

Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]