The Slipper Chapel at Walsingham        

 
In this Chapel I have seen

England’s ever-reigning Queen

Hold her court by candle-light.

 

Here her commons came, the poor.

Lords were lacking. Where the lure?

Fervour flees when faith has gone.

 

Yet the rich came sometimes by,

Quit their lacquered cars, and, shy,

Stood inside the open door.

 

All were welcomed, none refused:

Saint or sinner, each has used

Pavement worn away by prayer.

 

Barefoot kings once walked this way.

Afterwards, the pillage day.

Chapel where the cattle dwelt.

 

Then a woman stopped the sack.

Mass and altar were brought back.

Next the statue, thus the shrine.

 

Brief revival. Pilgrims few

From the many millions who

Ask this Virgin’s Motherhood.

 

Hidden pillage, secret sack,

Which the bishops have brought back:

Clergy who defy the Pope.

 

In this Chapel few are seen

Truly loyal to its Queen.

Few obey Christ’s Vicar now.

 

Nearly all have turned away

From humility, and pray

Vainly in the candle-light.

 

Ah, how desolate the heart

Of Our Lady at the art

Used by priests to strike her Son.

 

Now appearances are all.

Second Spring has second fall.

Soon the cattle will come by.

 

June 24th. 1974