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…