Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Lady Walsingham

The Wrecks of Walsingham

In the wrecks of Walsingham
Whom should I choose
But the Queen of Walsingham
to be my guide and muse !

Then, the Prince of Walsingham,
Grant me to frame
Bitter plaints to rue thy wrong,
Bitter woe for thy name.

Bitter was it, O to see
The silly sheep
Murdered by the ravenous wolves
While the shepherd did sleep.

Bitter was it, O to view
The sacred vine,
Whilst the gardeners played all close,
Rooted up by the swine.

Bitter, bitter, O to behold
The grass to grow
Where the walls of Walsingham
So stately did show.

Such were the worth of Walsingham
While she did stand,
Such are the wrecks as now do show
Of that Holy Land.

Level, level, with the ground
The towers do lie,
Which, with their golden glittering tops,
Pierced out to the sky.

Where were gates are no gates now,
The ways unknown
Where the press of friars did pass
While her fame was blown.

Owls do screech where the sweetest hymns
Lately were sung,
Toads and serpents hold their dens Where the
palmers did throng.

Weep, weep O Walsingham,
Whose days are nights,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deeds to despites.

Sin is where Our Lady sat,
Heaven is turned to hell,
Satan sits where Our Lady did sway --
Walsingham, O farewell!.

No other act symbolises the end of Catholic England than the destruction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and the burning of her statue at Chelsea. It marked the rejection of the Catholic idea of Grace. The model of the fragility of the Christ child in the arms of the fragile Virgin, was replaced by the state in its might imposing its will on the Christians of England.


JARay said...

I hear you Father.
So true!
And, so sad!

Patrick Sheridan said...

This country ceased to be ''great'' when she rejected the Faith.

Sandy said...

I am always very concious of the desecration when in the grounds of the ruined Abbey.Just a grassy knoll where once stood Our Ladys Holy House.When it was excavated in 1961,they found a layer of ash,the remains of the burning.I have heard it said that the original statue was hidden,and that a replica was,in fact,burned at chelsea.Where would they have hidden it? Maybe in the Holy Well ,now silted up.Who knows!
I could weep for Our Lady at Walsingham.

Crux Fidelis said...

The Reformation in England differs quite a bit from those in other countries in that it was motivated principally by the greed of the monarch and his cronies.

George said...

"I could weep for Our Lady at Walsingham" says Sandy.

I would agree, but I think Our Blessed Lady would be far happier to hear us recite the Holy Rosary as an act of Reparation for the outrages commited against her Son Jesus and to hear the Prayer for England being said by Catholics the length and breadth of the Country!

Let's not go too far down the route of 'mysterious hidden replica statues', lest Dan Brown gets another idea!

Bill of L.A. said...

From my copy of Thomas More, by Peter Ackroyd:

"Perhaps the Lord spoke to him of a time, soon to come, when there would be no more lights and images, no more pilgrimages and processions, no guild plays and no ringing for the dead, no maypoles or Masses or holy water, no birch at midsummer and no roses at Corpus Christi . . ."

"This reformation did not occur quickly; it was a slow and difficult process, reversed and then advanced, working through three reigns against the natural piety and traditionalism of the people. Forty years after the death of More, it was complete."

Hurts to read it.

Dilly said...

I visited the Slipper Chapel for the first time this Easter, and it had a profound effect on me. I have always been sad to stand in an English medieval church and see the vestiges of Catholicism around me, and think what might have been. In the chapel, although it had been used as a barn for centuries, I finally stood somewhere that was an unpolluted link to a time when Catholicism could be practised innocently without fear or misunderstanding. The image of the BVM is such a beautiful one, and so small and simple (reconstructed from an image on a seal, I believe. I really felt in touch with medieval catholicism and the Age of Faith, and tears were in my eyes.

Mack said...

May Our Lady of Walsingham watch over all of England, and may all of England return soon to the true faith.

-- Mack in Texas

Edward P. Walton said...

"Forty years after, it was complete".

We have lived thru a second Reformation. This time it was done by the Bishops, under the auspices of Rome.

It is difficult now, for me to feel too nostrlgic looking at "Bare ruined choirs". We are, quite literally, looking at the new bare ruined choirs.

No monarch now to blame or greedy courtiers.

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