We are pleased to share a poem recommended by Mrs Joan Bowles, widow of former Principal Cyril Bowles. The poem was written by Canon Peter Montgomery Duplock OBE (Ry. 1938-40). He penned the poem in Advent 2007, when he had almost lost his sight. Canon Duplock died on September 16th, 2011 and his poem was read movingly at his funeral.
I walked a little way alone last night,
Just as the day was merging
Silently and peacefully
Into yesterday, through twilight and the dark.
But look at those grotesque and elongated shades
Cast by the dying rays of the sinking sun.
And what are those fantastic shapes that I can see
Streaming out before me on the ground,
Tied firmly to my feet and to my boots,
Mimicking so foolishly my every move?
I'm nearly back.
Just one last corner takes me home.
Just one last corner.
I sometimes think that life has been for me
A blind zigzagging course of stumbling
From one blind corner to the next
Each corner turned in blind, uncertain faith
And now - and now there's one last corner left.
I sense there's dark around that corner, dark as pitch.
But I've been told the darkness fades
For those who wear the armour of the light.
And there's a valley too they say that I must cross,
Where ghostly spirits murmur in the dark.
I'm nearly blind, and like a new-born babe,
I need a lighted candle in the night.
They say that when you round that last dread bend
You're born again in everlasting life.
Suppose all this is only just a hunch.
Suppose it's playing some mad game with me.
Suppose it's like a glimpse of shade and drink
To tantalise some thirsty desert wanderer.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty.
Ah - that's my armour of the light, My candle too.
It's not grotesque, fantastic hope I want.
It's you I need, dear Lord, to hold my hand.
So come to me, Lord Jesus, come to me
Come to dispel the darkness of the night
Come, take me home. I'm waiting for you Lord.
Amen. Come quickly, Lord. Amen
Peter Duplock (1916-2011)