Saturday 22 June 2024

John Fisher

Henry E.G. Rope (1880-1978), ‘Blessed John Fisher’
June, 1914

In that grey head and forehead sorrow-scor’d,
Those strong dark eyes with tender love alight,
The face of one that liveth at the height
Of the o’erwhelming trust of his liege Lord,
Radiant with sovran grace on him outpour’d,
With steadfast calm unearthly benedight:
Chosen to bear the fiercest of the fight
With hell’s leagu’d powers o’er all the land abroad.
Whose swords are blunted by his only crook
Who stood alone nor left his flock their prize—
Is this intrigue’s demeanour? This his look
Over whose soul ambitions tyrannize?
O fools, who cannot read an open book!
O jaded wits, false judgements, purblind eyes!

Henry E.G. Rope, Soul’s Belfry and Other Verses (Church Stretton: The Stretton Press, 1919), p. 59.