Friday, 10 August 2007

A Welsh Priest forsees his death

I wrote,recently, about the death of a friend, the Rev Peter Gledhill. In my commonplace book I came across this prophetic poem he wrote.

Soon to come – that final move of house.
But what will it be like to live in Heaven?
Will it be No. 1 or No. 7?
Will I praise God? Or will I moan and grouse
For ever? As happens when a new house is bought,
I live in ignorance, I cannot tell;
Pray God I do not move to seventh Hell.
I hope to go where Welsh is spoke and taught –
Heaven’s language, that takes eternity to learn!
How a propos, how comme il faut, how fit
That I should spend for ever learning it!
A priest for ever, though I’m dead, I’ll yearn
For more long meetings of the clergy staff
In Gaerwen Little Chef, having a laugh
And gossiping about the Church in Wales.
Eternity’s required to tell the tales
Of all the mystic Celtic goings on
Amidst the ancient groves of Ynys Mon.
I hope to sing to Jesus wild Welsh lays
And learn from Morgan what the Bible says,
To chant the psalms will be another joy –
My “retirement job” – a most worthwhile employ!
The angels will perform – not Elgar, I hope!
Hoddinnott and Mathias give more scope.
And thus I dream! But now the time draws near,
And suddenly I’m overcome with fear!
Suppose it’s boring England that’s up there!
Pop music, fish and chips, and stocks and shares!
English T.V., and superstores galore,
And hiraeth to go down to Wales once more!

Peter Gledhill

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