Within the cloisters of Durham Cathedral

Within the cloisters of Durham Cathedral –

The pillars raise the choir’s song

Each mortar’s grain carries it aloft

Till it builds and fades with the final gong

Of the evening bells and incensed waft

Within these walls inviolably strong

That confine God from the noisy throng

Of people by hoary steeple dwarfed.

I sit alone in a nook and feel

Colossal arches oblivious to time

Belittle worries and scoff my mind

Brimming with words restless to bind

A giant emptiness lone sublime.

With inverted smiles my lines they steal

Bereaved I watch the choristers kneel

’Fore an empty altar, a golden rood.

Few scattered men doze on the bench

Intoxicated by an ambient ghost

Of a weary life in death engrossed

From which their souls they cannot wrench

Exhausted their minds in numbness brood

O’er a hope long barren ere the birth of Jude.

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