I like Narrative verse.
Much of my work is about the ninth and tenth Century in England. The Viking raids and invasions devastated the land. Out of this came a new wave of writing, art and illustration. Much of this came from Winchester.
So in a narrative I have a monk there beginning this school
The Scriptorium at Winchester
Osric the scribe worked that long day,
As long as there was light.
He only put his quills away
As dusk turned into night.
This book of Proverbs he worked on
He copied for his Lord.
He rarely saw the sun that shone
And never went abroad.
Within the confines of these walls
He now had spent long years.
He’d never heard the fairies’ calls
And never did shed tears.
A man of plain and simple faith
Who had stuck to his vow.
Before him stood what seemed a wraith,,
What could the monk do now?
He fell down to the floor in fear
He heard a tender voice.
“Get up, good monk, there’s no one near
Get up you face a choice.
My name’s Gabrel, I’m sent to you
To guide you in a task.
Your work it lacks a tender view,
So now do as I ask.
Come with me through the world of men,
Come outside of the walls.
Come see the hills, come see the fen,
Come listen to bird calls”.
Led by the hand through vistas grand,
He saw a wondrous isle.
“God has much planned for your sweet land”,
Gabrel said with a smile.
“The ebb and flow of how things go
Will not be shown to you.
But of this realm there’s much to know,
For deeds that you must do.
For scribes like you must copy well,
Writing the books of God.
And your works here could well excel,
You’ll need to be well shod.
And go from here with books wrote clear,
With these good words you write.
And never sneer, nor ever fear.
The Danes must know what’s right.
Your King has dreams and righteous schemes
Of more monks here with you.
Who’ll write in teams and write vast reams,
And their guide must be true.
So, walk this land with quill in hand,
Record the woods and ways.
Then take in hand what has been planned,
And guide scribes all your days”.
It seemed like Osric had a fit,
His mouth was wet with froth.
That night beside a cross he’d sit,
He was frail as a moth.
So, Osric did as he was bid
And wandered round our land.
And Gabrel saw that nought was hid
And helped him understand.
He went outside into the realm
And wandered for a year.
He knew soon he would take the helm,
But this caused him no fear.
The flowers in the field and fen,
The plants by each wayside,
Osric the monk he saw it then;
God’s work spread far and wide.
Each flower and leaf helped his belief,
Helped him see Christ as King.
Through sin and all of men’s mischief,
Not all could see this thing.
For God is found here all around,
In his creative zest.
His small herbs that spring from the ground
Seemed far above the rest.
© Trevor Morgan 5/5/2018
From: “Tale of Aelfrede and Gudrum”