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Poetry from within
   

CARLISLE CATHEDRAL


A former officer and former soldier

come every Friday to read names

from the Book of Remembrance.

‘In honour of fallen comrades-

Father, daughter, husband, son

Remembered in perpetuum..’

While settling in your chosen seat

your own devotions you would keep.

As the choral music filled the air

you found a quiet-contentment there.

Within that peace, that quiet of mind

A strength of purpose you would find.

Bishop Tait would know a loss so great

That any parent’s heart would break.

As Christ, once suffered on the cross-

The bishop five young daughters lost…

The Gothic-East Window’s commanding height

The High Altar, and cathedra, bathed in light….

Woman beating Man carved in black oak-

(Who wished that he had never spoke?)

Decried as traitors, condemned by law

Jacobites slept in cribs of straw….

Crude letters etched in wood and stone

To Gallow’s Hill they would be borne…

At night, a coldness haunts the walls

The creak and groan of ancient stalls

Wraith shadows on the centuries cast.

Gaunt bishops in procession pass…

Robert Carson