Saturday, October 22, 2011

Knox's Lament in Geneva

Here is a poem that I wrote from the perspective of John Knox during his time in Geneva in the 1550s, before his eventual return to Scotland where he led the reformation of the Scottish church from 1559-1572.

Knox's Lament in Geneva

How I remember those days of youth 
When I stood with Wishart, that man of truth 
How that brave man followed Hamilton's fall, 
By dying in fire, gave Scotland the call 
To rise in repentance with faith in God 
To worship Him only, and Him to laud 

But then, alas, in St. Andrew's walls 
Serving God's people, rich, common, an' all 
The Papist French, with their galleys strong 
Took us captive and used us wrong 
And while a poor galley slave, I sent out this cry 
"O Lord, give me Scotland before I do die!" 

After eighteen months, at last I's set free 
But Scotland was still forbidden to me 
To England I went, to preach God's Word loud 
To bring down God's Spirit on that Saxon crowd 
But after success for a blessed time 
We were all chased out by Queen Mary's crime 

And now 'tis Geneva, the light on the hill 
I now look upon from my widow sill 
Learning from Calvin, that reformer great 
And others whose wise words I now contemplate 
Sitting midst riches of God's gifts to men 
Where truth is unhindered, and near all say "amen!" 

But still how I lang for my dear native soil,
Among mine ain people to sweat, bleed, and toil 
From the poor plooman laddie, in his humble cot 
To the laird of mine fathers in his station and lot 
"O humble yourselves in the moss and the dew 
And pray that Jehovah would Scotland renew!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow Peter, that is really good. I enjoyed reading it! I hope you have time to write more once in a while.

Mrs. B