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
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 —
………..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.
In southern England near the Suffolk coast lies a stretch of sandy heathland dotted by mysterious mounds of earth. Inspiring strange tales and superstitions among local people, these barrows charmed newlyweds Frank and Edith Pretty, who purchased the property, known as Sutton Hoo, in 1926. The couple made their home at Sutton Hoo for nearly nine years until Frank’s untimely death in late 1934. Edith continued to live there, and she grew increasingly curious about the barrows on her property. A lifelong fascination with the occult had led her, like many wealthy women of her time, to consult spiritualists in London. Some say that after her husband’s death, her interest in spiritualism grew and even expanded to include the barrows on her property. Disputed accounts even describe Edith as having a vision of a ghostly procession passing through the mounds near her house. Whatever the true cause, she decided in 1937 to have the land excavated and approached a museum in nearby Ipswich to discuss it.
Source: The Ghostly Treasure Ship of Sutton Hoo
Although everyone and everything eventually dies—giants and gods and brave warriors included—tales about praiseworthy folk will outlast them all. Myths about these impressive beings survive, then, because they captivate audiences; they survive because they’re continuously shared. And because they are shared, they change.
Source: The Politics of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Norse Mythology’ – The Atlantic
The National Trust shares its responsibilities with the Sutton Hoo Society; the latter does site tours while Trust volunteers man the exhibition that occupies a grey timber building 10 minutes’ walk away. Wainwright helped set up the exhibition: to their horror, the researchers found that most visitors knew nothing at all about the Anglo-Saxons. The originators of so much English culture – place names, kingship, legal system – had somehow been squeezed out by the sexier Romans and Vikings. Their delicate interlaced designs were assumed to be Celtic. Even now, some people still leave thinking that Sutton Hoo contained a Viking ship. “If we called it ‘The Sutton Hoo Viking Burial’ we’d probably double our visitor numbers,” says Wainwright, laughing. “So in the end we decided to focus on the site, while doing a major PR job for the Anglo-Saxons.”
Source: Sutton Hoo, Suffolk: On the trail of the Anglo-Saxons – Telegraph