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The Consistory men came at dawn
to strip the churches bare
to gather all the idols
they said were lurking there

Took they first the Mother
With her beloved Child
And chopped her into kindling wood.
My father said they smiled.

“This is not He!” The father cried
The new one that they sent
“These painted dolls! These wooden sticks!”
Into the fire they went.

There went my patron Anthony
Who fought against the Snake
Dark-eyed Lucy, gentle Claire
And Martin in their wake

Fierce wolves of God, they gnawed the church
Down to her very bone
Even the body on the rood
They did not leave alone

When all was gone that I had loved
They saw me standing by
Very small and very scared
and very soon to cry.

The father stroked my tousled hair
And held aloft a Book
He fixed me with his icy gaze
It was no pleasant look

“Child”, he said, “From this you’ll learn”
“The ways of God above”
“And how he proffers saving faith”
“With His electing love”

I don’t want his nasty Book
But to run and jump and play
And to feel the wind upon my cheek
The cool of night, the warmth of day

He says that this is evil
I must learn to mortify
All that sin that in me dwells
Or surely I will die.

And so I grew from girl to maid
and cut myself away
and feared lest all this useless beauty
should cause my soul to stray

But as I listened to his book
I heard the ancient strain
The palm trees laden with their dates
The flowers after rain.

The eagle in his heaven
The tree beside the brook
The conies in their stoney place
All this was in the Book

“This is also Me” I heard Him say
The voice within the Book
Omnia quia sunt lumina sunt
But you have to learn to look.

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