Little Gidding Revisited

If it is the flag which stands for England,
It is the standard red and white
War of the fire and the rose,
Ambulance colours, recalling the wounded surgeon.

If saints stand for us,
Here where we have no abiding city,

Who then binds us to the earth which
Is what we have and are?

It is the anchorite,
Fixing our flotation as with a tent-peg
Under the billowing blue.
Mother Julian the anchorite is also a saint
And the saintly vision draws us upwards and on,

Aspiring among all the English steeples.

But when we fall
By our own darkness into the chaos,

Then falleth too the anchor, but
Christ fast bound to it as to Calvary,

Declares us closest the fire and the rose
Not in our virtues, but in derelictions
Of duty alike as spirit.

Lord, I am not worthy but
Our faults are what we are.

"Sin is behovely" means

God habitually finds us
When we are farthest from him,

Infinite love searching our depths

Where all shall be well.

Peter Mullen

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