Poem: “The Pearl of York”


The Pearl of York
St. Margaret Clitherow

A girl, a lady,
Wife, a mother,
From church of England
She saw the other.

The other, where,
Her church came from.
The other, where,
The fruit was plumb.

The other, where,
Her church beat down,
And looted jewels
For earthly crown.

And watching, she,
Was irritated,
And slowly grew

Sitting, silent,
In her shell,
Her home, a place,
Where priests could dwell,

Confect the Mass,
Many saved,
For this, their limbs
And lives were braved.

Because a woman
Kept her shell,
A jealous fortress
Barring hell.

And then the weak
Pried open wide,
Exposing truth,
The shell’s inside,

Where mother, wife,
Lady, girl,
Had turned into
York’s royalist pearl.

Hilary McRee Flanery


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