Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Husband and Wife (08/08/14)
- TITLE: Guilford
By Margaret Kearley
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An Uncomfortable Read
‘O Guilford, Guilford’
long these words
have echoed history’s hall.
Wrung words of sorrow,
accompany their recall.
The year was Fifteen Fifty Four,
Bleak February the time,
When twisted p’litical intrigue
And deadly power combined
To place upon the English throne
A young protesting Queen
That some have called ‘The Tudor Pawn’,
A Lady, aged sixteen.
O infant days of innocence,
Childlike, amusing play
Was not the mark of early years
For one - Lady Jane Grey: …
‘One of the greatest benefits
That God has given me
Is that He sent me parents of
A sharp severity;
But He gave me a schoolmaster
Whose fair allurements kind
Did with a gentle pleasantness
Instruct my troubled mind.’
And so through early years of pain
The hunger of young Lady Jane
Was filled with knowledge of the truth,
And wisdom far beyond her youth,
A deepening faith young lips confessed,
Her all in Christ, her righteousness.
The summons! - Spring of ‘Fifty-Three,
With trepidation, anxiously
She stood before her parents who
Announced the path she would pursue.
A past betrothment waved aside
Another forced, she would be bride
To Guilford Dudley – intrigue, snare
Was tightening fast around the pair.
So marriage, politic in style
Was planned from depths of devious guile
And two young people, forced by power,
Were wed upon an ordained hour.
All personal longings set aside
The teenage groom, the younger bride,
Were joined by vows of matrimony
‘Gainst all desire that such should be.
And not for them, a life of joy
Spread rich o’er many-a year,
Within short weeks the tightened snare
Of intrigue would appear:
A forced crown placed upon her head,
A young reluctant Queen,
Rapid descent upon a path
That they had not foreseen.
Nine days of reign, the plot unwound,
Jane, stripped of royal power,
Accused of treason, within hours
The two were in the Tower.
The morn of 12th February
Of Fifteen Fifty Four
Is a dark page of history
This world cannot ignore:
The execution morning
A young couple’s final breath
With eyes firm fixed on Jesus
They were faithful unto death
‘O Guilford, Guilford’, tears streamed,
‘The bitterness of death’,
Her pen took up the lament of her
anguished sobbing breath,
‘The foretaste you have tasted and
I will soon taste too,
Is nothing, nothing to compare
With what waits me and you.
The feast of Heaven is waiting
Through Him, the only Way,
And you and I together
Shall enjoy that feast today.’
‘The world was not worthy of them’ Hebrews 11:38
Greatly inspired by ‘Caught in the web’ and ‘Nine Day Queen of England’, both by Faith Cook !
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