The Ruined Cathedral
by Theodora Goss
Gray monks have wandered here, chanting their canticles,
great kings have walked beneath these archways of wrought stone,
and holy ladies read windows of parables,
and late into the night, possessing all alone
the rose-shaped turrets, bats have dived and shrieked and spun.
The monks are laid to rest beneath the graveyard grass,
the kings beneath grand slabs, the ladies in fine tombs,
and dust and sunlight now are all that shift or pass,
except that little bats still wheel across the rooms,
the final visitants that come, or are to come.
(The image is St. Mary’s Abbey, York by Michael Angelo Rooker. The poem is from my collection Songs for Ophelia.)