David Lewis Paget
The Convent At Cape Fury - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The Convent at Le Cap Fureur
Lies empty, by the sea,
Its ancient walls a grim despair
No more the chants of singing Nuns
To vespers, weave their way,
A thousand years of heartfelt prayers
In silence, drift away.
The Sisterhood of Sainte Bernice
Is cloistered there no more,
The end came in a fury from
The world outside, at war,
The Nuns were fasting, deep in Lent,
When soldiers came across
To find each sister worshipping
The Stations of the Cross.
No godly men were in their ranks
No thoughts of sin or Christ,
The Nuns were raped and beaten in
Some pagan sacrifice,
The Abbess stood with arms outstretched
And prayed, ‘Forgive them not! ’
Was taken to the courtyard where
The sergeant had her shot.
There’s blood still on those convent walls
It leaches out at Lent,
Runs down the walls of dim-lit halls
And stains the grey cement,
We lodged there late one April night
Myself, Joylene and Drew,
Lay staring at the stars above
As round us, silence grew.
We slept within those hallowed walls
Until I woke in fright,
And roused the others, ‘Come and see
This strange and fearful sight! ’
For out there in the entrance hall
We heard a weird chant,
And two long lines of Nuns approached
To keep their covenant.
Two lines of candles in the dark,
The Nuns wore hoods and cowls,
And as each candle flickered out
Their chant gave way to howls.
Screams and pleas then filled the air,
The sound of steel-capped boots,
A pagan army from the east
Of rough and raw recruits.
Joylene was in hysterics by
The time this vision went,
And Drew was praying loudly on
That final day of Lent,
We grabbed our things, rushed out and then
We heard a single shot,
The blood-stained Abbess blocked our way
And cried: ‘Forgive them not! ’
27 September 2013
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