Monday, 14 June 2010

St Andrews - 15

Today we commemorate the murder of Cardinal Beaton.

On hearing the commotion outside, Cardinal Beaton looked anxiously out of his chamber window,

After realising that the castle had been overrun, he hurriedly hid his gold while his servant barricaded the door against the oncoming attackers.

When the conspirators threatened to burn their way in, the door was opened, but despite pleading for his life Beaton was slain.

Later his body was displayed from one of the artillery blockhouses that had been built by Archbishop James Beaton.

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honour, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1906

Some fine hymn singing!

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