Thoughts at a Ruined Priory

Bronzy bells that chime no more,
Rusted bands that bound a door,
And lichen slowly crawling,
Like a sea's resistless tide,
Lapping forward, rock by rock,
Up the walls on every side.

Slow decay of bleaching bone,
Ringed all 'round by crumbling stone,
Death is singing them to sleep.
Lain at rest in hallowed sod,
Priors, monks, their work complete,
Slumber in the peace of God.

Wake not to my careful tread
As I walk across your bed.
Wake not to the happy lark,
Or the gently stirring breeze
As it whispers, soft and low,
Your old secrets to the trees.



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