Saturday, 23 February 2008


Is it all right”, I asked her,

For me to lead my sister

Towards the fire?”

Our father is dead”, she said.

So who else would I want

To give me away?”

I could help you escape”, I claimed.

But she replied, “No. See these ropes -

I myself made them

It was gracious of my Lord

To make my poor handiwork

The bands of a Man”.

Truly, day by day, strand by strand,

Her dexterity and patience had made

The finest ropes in Derby.

The fire is ravenous”. But she responded,

We must all burn, by fevers or rheumatics:

As well swift as slow.”

And when I longed that God would send

Elizabeth she said she waited for

One Monarch only.

She rejoiced that she would not see

A sin-marred world - “but I will see it

When Christ is king".

And “What is light? Is it to the body

What faith is to my soul -

The expansion of perception.

You will have to let go my hand soon

But remember that a stronger hand

Holds me still.”

I led her to the stake. She did not cry

Among the faggots but spoke tenderly

And her last word was “Jesus”.

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