Monday, 11 November 2013
“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”.