JOHN RUSKIN REVIVIFIED

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, 17th May 2006, 00:00

Saint Ursula asleep – precisely plied
his brushes limn Carpaccio’s
design – facsimiled to soothe
his outraged nerves – a ploy
to quell the anguish of his loss.
Saint Ursula – the ‘little bear’ –
the strange conceit evokes, against
his mood, a smile – and then, as if
the Cornish maid, once martyred in
Cologne, so willed, he sees with
unscaled eyes the wild verbena –
dianthus sees, dissociate from Zeus –
the twain a symbol sent to purge
the scepticism from his soul.
Saint Ursula – her Christmas gift
dispensed, lies dreaming still, while he
accepts the miracle – allows
the spike-leaved vervain’s magic to
renew his faith – nor questions if
some self-deception works inside
his tortured mind.
Aglow with hope: convinced a link
between the revelation and
his Irish Rose obtains, he lets
supernal guidance take command –
determines henceforth to obey
its sacred call.
Atonement made, he goes with joy,
with quasi-ecstasy, to bed;
while, sanctified, his youthful Rose,
ensepulchred, lies two years dead.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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