The Measure of Modernity

Dark were the dreams of modern men, and dark their grim decay,

For all the world was mighty old, and men led men astray.

When you and I were newly born, a pall hung in the West,

And night was on the Church of Rome, bleak silence on the best.

Men ran wild like straying beasts, and women were strange of heart,

Both raced loose like jetsam, and tore the earth apart.

For heaven was silent like the sea, as before a violent storm,

Or listening, waiting, like a host, before the captain’s horn.

Yea, frenzied horns rang in our ears, and we could see the signs,

That time would swallow time again, and Man would own his crimes.

But all the nations of the earth, turned their minds to sleep,

And we were cowed by bitter words, and wandered lost like sheep.

Two towering triumphs piled high, were turned to ash and dust,

In that mire the selfish man, declared his pride and lust.

For apathy was crowned the king, and men grew rich and blind,

Progress was the god they made, and men the grist they grind.

Good folk were soundless as the graves, of saints that went before,

But you and I were not afraid, we clamoured all the more.


You and I we fought alone, at least at first it seemed,

But on our flanks the Church arose, and in the gloom it gleamed.

For men made war on Truth and Love, and perverted even vice,

They took the sins of older days, and warped them into Rights.

Marriage was a mockery, birth a black-cap day,

And Adam was a woman, and Eve a man at play.

A storm raced wild upon the sea, and roaring thunder fell,

Lights were seen in heaven, and demons loosed from hell.

The roots of trees were in the sky, the fish flew through the air,

But we could tell the secret truths, for you and I would dare.

And if we cried out fitfully, our shame was that of lesser men,

Of youth with all her tempting lies, deceits that trapped us then.

We two laboured not alone, there were knights braver far than we,

Who long had fought the noble fight, and helped the blind to see.

A squire rode in on English roads, the Lord of Paradox,

A giant he – with smiling face, all joyful orthodox.

Or yet again a Bishop roared, and put the world to flight,

Fivefold-exile from Nile’s bank, who blazed in Arian night.

These bold brothers called us on, with trumpet’s blare and flag unfurled,

To charge again with sword unsheathed, ‘til time forsake the fallen world.


We have seen so many things, still darkly as through glass,

But many scenes are still to come, before our sunrise pass.

And peaks shall crumble in the night, and villains tumble down,

For tyrants of the pen and pound, shall lose their gilded crown.

And heretics shall cry for light, ‘prisoned in their self-wrought cage,

But in our days shall faith renew, and faith shall temper rage.

Yea, greener days are sure to come, and daylight burn anew,

When we have cast away our doubts, and cling to what is true.

Let every fear fast melt away, as ice before the sun,

Let hearts be hot and fiery, until the race be won.

For Truth has lit our lamps anew, yea, we have found a creed,

The Gospel goes before us then, as George upon his steed.

Naught be safe for men as we; nay, none can safely say,

But men shall still proclaim it, when you and I are grey.




'The Measure of Modernity' has 1 comment

  1. 07/02/2016 @ 5:18 pm francesca

    a little sombre this poem natmeole but awesome all the same!


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