Tuesday 24 February 2015

Sacred places

There are sacred places - some very personal (sacred perhaps only to me) - but others, it seems, have properties generally recognizable. This ruined medieval chapel was once a national place of pilgrimage - probably associated with an appearance of Mary holding the infant Jesus.

Very near my home, in a suburb of a big city, yet the chapel remains a place of worship and is tended - in its way - by ikons, homemade crosses, prayer cards, varied stautuary...

Extraordinarily, some of these small and mobile and unwatched tokens have been there for many years.

Have they been thus far protected by some magic about the place and reverence residual in most people?

Yes - thus far, they have. 


From a poem by William Blake:

The fields from Islington to Marybone,
To Primrose Hill and Saint John’s Wood,
Were builded over with pillars of gold;
And there Jerusalem’s pillars stood.

Her Little Ones ran on the fields,

The Lamb of God among them seen,
And fair Jerusalem, His Bride,
Among the little meadows green.

Pancras and Kentish Town repose
Among her golden pillars high,
Among her golden arches which
Shine upon the starry sky.

The Jew’s-harp House and the Green Man,
The Ponds where boys to bathe delight,
The fields of cows by William’s farm,
Shine in Jerusalem’s pleasant sight.

She walks upon our meadows green;
The Lamb of God walks by her side;
And every English child is seen,
Children of Jesus and His Bride.


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