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.