Via: The Fortnightly Review, ‘Æcerbot.

Æcerbot.

By STEVE ELY.

‘His heart will be living in splendour and fire, and marvellous music will exalt him. He will pay no respect to any one, though he be thought a bumpkin. In depths of his being there is praise of God and jubilant song, and his praise bursts out aloud; his sweet voice rises to heaven, and the Divine Majesty delights to hear it.’

—Richard Rolle, The Fire of Love

I.

Richard, rude-raptured from Heaven
to haloed Hampole, hoist by indigent
dreaming. Dorter derelict, annihilate
ashlar, arcades and arches, fell.
Field-folk faithless, vicious,
vexatious, venal with violence of lucre
and lies. Leys laid waste
and woodland withered, wildcat banished
with beaver and bristle-backed boar.
Brook bereft of barbel and grayling,
gravels greased green with Elmsall’s
excreta, exudate of effluent plough.
Plucked of pear and peccant pippin,
pardes purged to ponied-pasture, wrecked
of wryneck, rakish redstart, wrested
to the west. And whither the women? Mary,
Marjery, Margaret — morte — cloistered
in Cromwell’s clay. And Richard said:
………….Barnsdale is fallen, fallen to wolf
………..altars stripped, daughters dumped nude.
………..In roofless precincts, dogs humping and howling
………..licking blood from foot of the rood.
………..Barnsdale dismembered, Priory sacked
………..and reft to Dudley’s chests —
………..under the walnut, by banks of sweet Ea,
………..lips upon Marjery’s breasts.
………..Barnsdale desarted, blighted by drought,
………..dry-well where once rang five springs.
………..Lucy aflighted, Bella bereft,
………..no more the nightingale sings.
………..Barnsdale is swallowed, alchemical wyrmes
………..eating earth, squirting-out gold.
………..Swine butchered from pannage and cattle
………..cut-off, sheep dragged-down in the fold.
………..Barnsdale racked on rood like our Lord
………..in England’s broken land.
………..Yet body and blood, field, common and wood —
………..must stand.
………..So ride I will the Great North Road
………..from York to Canterbury,
………..our land and people to assize
………..in this bleak posterity.

Source: The Fortnightly Review › Æcerbot.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s