Monday 26 June 2023

Our Lady of Tintern

A label identified the modern statue as a creation based on the surviving part of an earlier statue now completed by reference to others contemporary with it.  

A very helpful member of staff in the ticket office then took me to a totally different part of the site to see the original statue.  

The clean cuts by which both the mother's head and the child were removed indicated, he suggested, someone like the last Abbot saving them rather than the dissolvers desecrating them. 

And then, having found Kilvert next to the Wye in Bredwardine, inevitably I found Wordsworth in the trees above the Wye at Tintern.


Until, the breath of this corporeal frame 

and even the motion of human blood

 almost suspended, we are laid asleep

in body and become a living soul, 

while, with an eye made quiet by the power 

of harmony and the deep power of joy, 

we see into the life of things. 


Hearing oftentimes 

the still sad music of humanity, 

nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power

to chasten and subdue - and I have felt 

a presence that disturbs me with the joy 

of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime 

of something far more deeply interfused 

whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 

and the round ocean and the living air. 


Neither evil tongues, 

rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, 

nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all 

the dreary intercourse of daily life, 

shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb 

our cheerful faith that all we behold 

is full of blessings.

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