Orthodox England

Excerpt from: Volume 3 Issue 1 Date 1st September 1999

The England of our Hearts

Church and Nation are fallen sick,
The Ploughs of our souls run not straight.
Our fields lie unsown and the tares grow up.
The harvest is poor and the windmills of our souls
Turn no more to grind the good grain.

For we have not been true to the England of our hearts.
And now She lies crucified, all glorylorn in the tomb.

But as the Easter Mystery,
Once more Life shall come forth from the tomb,
Light from the darkness,
Wisdom from the foolishness,
Hope from the hopelessness,
Faith from the faithlessness,
Love from the lovelessness,
Delight from the sorrow.

For still there lives in our hearts
Another England,
Another Church and Nation.
The holy book of England's history is not yet closed
And tomorrow the first words of a new chapter shall be read.

It were well that we should think of the England of our hearts.
On high day and holiday, at Christmastide and at Whitsun,
In high summer and at harvest-time we shall think of Her,
Our old-storied land:
Of her broad skies and sunlight-flooded cornfields,
Her leafy lanes and mild rain,
Her good clean air and Her warm, comforting inns,
Her wayside cottages with their white-fronted walls,
Her villages and market squares,
Echoing to her Morrismen and their lovely melodies,
Fading in the darkening summer night,
Music to my heart,
The homely sweetness of her gentle folk,
The unfailing, undimming memory of all Her people
Who down the years lived and died for noble cause,
The unearthly beauty of Her church-towers,
All Her hallowed ones of God
And all Hers who strive to keep faith
With the ancient pieties of another time.

For this sickness of Church and Nation is not unto death.
Once more the ploughs of our souls shall run straight.
Our fields shall be sown and the tares choked.
The harvest shall be rich and the windmills of our souls
Shall turn again to grind the good grain.

And this shall be,
When we are true to the England of our hearts.

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(c) Orthodox England - Published within the English Deanery of the Church Outside Russia: with the blessing of the Very Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland.