The Church of Wenslow Haze

The Church of Wenslow Haze

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The sea that batters the eastern coast

Has often subdued the land,

Five hundred years have seen the retreat

Of a mile of cliffs and sand,

When tides are low in the summertime

From beneath the distant swell,

The villagers lying abed at night

Hear the tolling of a bell.

 

The bell resounds up the village street

And rattles the cobblestones,

As the villagers close the shutters tight

And lock the doors of their homes,

They hear the thump of a wooden stump

As it echoes along the street,

The wooden leg of the mate, John Clegg

From Drake’s Armada Fleet!

 

The thump is steady and purposeful

As it heads towards the sea,

Where the bell still rings for matins

As in 1563,

When priests were burned for popery

In the England of those days,

They used the little singing cakes

In the Church of Wenslow Haze!

 

John Clegg was a surly protestant

In the service of the Queen,

So the use of the cakes for massing bread -

He thought it was quite obscene!

The vicar had leant to the Roman Church,

The Reverend Walter Raise,

And Clegg had stood and harangued him there

In the Church of Wenslow Haze.

 

‘You’ll bring your Popish habits here

At the risk of mortal pain,

I fought for the Queen Elizabeth

To see off the King of Spain,

If you don’t revert to the massing bread

And the Book of Common Prayer,

I’ll see to the piling of f*****s

When they burn you in the square!’

 

But Walter Raise would never be stayed

By the threats of an ignorant tar,

He said: ‘I only answer to God

For the what and the where we are!

The form is not as important as

The salving of the soul,

You’d better look to your own before

The Devil takes you all!’

 

But Clegg had waited for matins, he

Returned with a burning brand,

Set fire to the ancient tapestries

The pews and the altar stand,

He raised his cutlass and brought it down

On the Romish vicar’s head,

And he cursed the Church of Wenslow Haze

As the vicar lay there, dead!

 

The sea rose up in a sudden storm

And it swept across the land,

Engulfed the Church of Wenslow Haze

As if raised by God’s own hand,

The land had tilted beneath the sea

And the church, it settled deep,

With the bodies of Clegg and Walter Raise

And the bell-tower, and the keep!

 

So now when the tide repents and drops

To a fathom, over the bell,

The toll rings out from the surly deep

Like a call to the fiends from hell,

And a stump sounds over the cobblestones

As Clegg, for his soul’s sake pays,

He carries a burning fire brand

To the Church of Wenslow Haze.

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

First congrats on this being published in "THe Magical Mythical Mystery Compendium"

Another fine poem from a master story teller. I could listen to someone recite your poetry all day. It flows ever so freely and the story builds and takes on life. You are an outstanding poet/writer!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

First congrats on this being published in "THe Magical Mythical Mystery Compendium"

Another fine poem from a master story teller. I could listen to someone recite your poetry all day. It flows ever so freely and the story builds and takes on life. You are an outstanding poet/writer!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

you're an amazing storyteller, you cast magical spells upon readers. your writings, are quite mesmerizing. incredible write!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Congratulations this poem has been "approved" for publication in...

THE MAGICAL MYTHICAL MYSTERY COMPENDIUM.
-Metaphysical, Mystical & Fantastical Poetry of the Arcane

By John Phoenix Hutchinson and Others. (c) 2012

Please feel free to submit other poems as you are not limited to one entry. Also please write a short "bio" about yourself and send to me via private message. This will be published along with your poem. Thanks J.P.H.

Anyone wanting to make Submissions to this Writers Cafe "e" book Project can do so on my group page, the deadline is 1st of November 2012.



Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"So now when the tide repents and drops

To a fathom, over the bell,

The toll rings out from the surly deep

Like a call to the fiends from hell,"
Amazing piece only Lewis Paget can write something so exclusive!!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like the way you tell stories. It's very vivid.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Damn fine poetry! Such excellent use of rhythm and rhyme! Of course, I love historical poetry anyway, but this is so well crafted it sang to me the whole way through. Excellent work in my opinion!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

absolutely, inced able enjoyed it so much .....
Have you tried writing a play or a story?
I am sure it would be exciting ...?

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I read this like I was reading book. It would be perfect that way too making into a book. I hear, feel it as if I'm there. Like the stump sounds over the cobblestones or as if I could the smell the sea in the air. Another great one.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was beautiful, I read it 3 times out loud, with my bloody Dutch accent, but I felt every word you spoke, beautiful deep and rich poetry. Thank you,

E.L.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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36 Reviews
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Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on July 29, 2012
Last Updated on July 29, 2012
Tags: sea, cliffs, mate, vicar

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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