240

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 Anyone who has been there knows why this iconic building is a symbol of Oxford University.

THE RADCLIFFE CAMERA

(Part of the Bodleian Library, Oxford)

The lamp of learning never shone so bright

As there beneath that artificial sky,

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

That soaring weightlessness of blue and white

Shot through with gold from skylights lifted high:

The lamp of learning never shone so bright.

Not truly weightless, all that stony height:

In the crypt, squat, hunkering arches underlie

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

There rooted firm, those arches ground their might:

Theology and letters; that is why

The lamp of learning never shone so bright.

That weight of learning buried out of sight

Was what allowed the mind to soar and fly

In the dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

Here one might mount a search for what is right,

To extricate the true thought from the lie.

The lamp of learning never shone so bright:

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

 

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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238

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 The church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford is the chapel of Oxford University.  Its long history witnessed many significant events: the heresy trial of the Oxford Martyrs, with one column still bearing a gash from the erection of the platform on which they stood, for example.  A cross of bricks embedded in the asphalt of Broad Street marks the spot where the stake was driven for their execution.  Latimer asked Ridley to play the man when they were burned together, for God would see to it that their fire would light a candle that would never be put out.  Thomas Cranmer at first recanted, but then he recovered his courage, recanted his recantation, and was burned holding first into the fire the hand that had signed that dastardly recantation. The saints were made of stern stuff in those days.

Hugh Latimer

THE OXFORD MARTYRS

St. Mary the Virgin has a pillar defaced,

A ledge chipped in the stone on which to rest

The beam that held the platform where they placed

The men they meant to martyr.  Who’d have guessed

The way the Faith they stubbornly confessed

Would rise up like a Phoenix from the flames?

(A few blocks down, a cross still marks its nest.)

And when those stalwarts stood to hear their names

Read out as heretics, their mortal frames

Consigned to fiery death, could they have known?

Did they by faith then hear the Lord proclaim

Their place among the martyrs ‘round His throne?

Latimer and Ridley played the man,

And Cranmer clasped the fire by the hand.

Thomas Cranmer

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

 

240

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 Anyone who has been there knows why this iconic building is a symbol of Oxford University.

THE RADCLIFFE CAMERA

(Part of the Bodleian Library, Oxford)

The lamp of learning never shone so bright

As there beneath that artificial sky,

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

That soaring weightlessness of blue and white

Shot through with gold from skylights lifted high:

The lamp of learning never shone so bright.

Not truly weightless, all that stony height:

In the crypt, squat, hunkering arches underlie

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

The Crypt

There rooted firm, those arches ground their might:

Theology and letters; that is why

The lamp of learning never shone so bright.

That weight of learning buried out of sight

Was what allowed the mind to soar and fly

In the dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

Here one might mount a search for what is right,

To extricate the true thought from the lie.

The lamp of learning never shone so bright:

The dome of the Radcliffe Camera, graced with light.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!

 

 

238

 Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

The church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford is the chapel of Oxford University.  Its long history witnessed many significant events: the heresy trial of the Oxford Martyrs, with one column still bearing a gash from the erection of the platform on which they stood, for example.  A cross of bricks embedded in the asphalt of Broad Street marks the spot where the stake was driven for their execution.  Latimer asked Ridley to play the man when they were burned together, for God would see to it that their fire would light a candle that would never be put out.  Thomas Cranmer at first recanted, but then he recovered his courage, recanted his recantation, and was burned holding first into the fire the hand that had signed that dastardly recantation. The saints were made of stern stuff in those days.

St. Mary the Virgin

THE OXFORD MARTYRS

St. Mary the Virgin has a pillar defaced,

A ledge chipped in the stone on which to rest

The beam that held the platform where they placed

The men they meant to martyr.  Who’d have guessed

The way the Faith they stubbornly confessed

Would rise up like a Phoenix from the flames?

(A few blocks down, a cross still marks its nest.)

And when those stalwarts stood to hear their names

Read out as heretics, their mortal frames

Consigned to fiery death, could they have known?

Did they by faith then hear the Lord proclaim

Their place among the martyrs ‘round His throne?

Latimer and Ridley played the man,

And Cranmer clasped the fire by the hand.

The Pulpit

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!