Lenten thoughts of a High Church Anglican

by Sir John Betjeman

Isn’t she lovely, ‘the Mistress’?
With her wide-apart grey-green eyes,
The droop of her lips and, when she smiles,
Her glance of amused suprise?

How nonchalantly she wears her clothes,
How expensive they are as well!
And the sound of her voice is as soft and deep
As the Christ Church tenor bell.

But why do I call her ‘the Mistress’
Who know not her way of life?
Because she has more of a cared-for air
Than many a legal wife.

How elegantly she swings along
In the vapoury incense veil,
The Angel choir must pause in song
When she kneels at the altar rail.

The preacher said that we should not stare
Around when we come to Church,
Or the Unknown God we are seeking
May forever elude our search.

And I hope that the preacher will not think
It unorthodox and odd
If I add that I catch in ‘the Mistress’
A glimpse of the Unknown God.


2 thoughts on “Lenten thoughts of a High Church Anglican

  1. There is a marvellous recording of the author reading this on the — this shows my age! – LP ‘Sir John Betjeman’s Banana Blush’. Well worth having if you don’t already (and probably available on those new fangled CD-things now!!)

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