Last Of The Elders

A priestly patrician without congregation
Surveyed vacant pews from a pulpit,
The last of the lay-folk had faded away,
No longer a nation of pilgrims.

He advertised Matins where nobody read,
He preferred Vulgate Latin to English.
Legionella was rife in the presbytery,
The votive was all but extinguished.

He blew away dust from a hymnal,
The hymn-board held still 3-1-2;
An offertory plate with a mildew fate,
Jerusalem was not rebuilt.

Ivy is choking the chancel,
The first diocese twelve numbered.
There was a day when prayers ended at Karnak,
An unoccupied altar’s in slumber.

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