Sunday, 11 March 2018

The Ragbag of a Human Heart

Dear Reader,

                                                                                       Young women

An entry from Francis Kilvert's diary : Saturday, 8th March, 1872.

At eleven o'clock the dog-cart came for me with the chestnut old Rocket, and I returned to Clyro.
Amelia Meredith tells me that at Llanhollantine people used to to to the church door at midnight to hear the saints within call over the names of those who were to die within the year.  Also they heard the sound of the pew doors opening and shutting though no one was in the church.


I used to live in a very haunted manor house near Beaulieu in Hampshire.  The house was supposed to have been visited by Judge Jeffreys, 1645-1689, The Hanging Judge, known for his cruelty and corruption.   He was one of the judges at the Bloody Assizes which were a series of trials started at Winchester on August 25th, in the aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor which ended the Monmouth Rebellion in England.  At these trials a woman called Elizabeth Gaunt had the gruesome distinction of being the last woman burnt alive in England for political crimes.  After the Glorious Revolution Jeffreys was incarcerated in the Tower of London where he died in 1689.

In the panelled room where he would have slept my Alsatian dog always growled when he went in there, and I always hated the room and felt very cold in it.


The Ragbag of a Human Heart

He saw the girl
young, beautiful, innocent,
inflamed her with clever words,
caught her
seduced her
smiled, walked away.

At the bus stop
he saw an old lady
waiting in the rain,
offered her a lift,
drove her back to her house,
made her a cup of tea,
hugged her,
smiled, walked away.


With very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A rather chilling piece this week to match the weather! I fear for the older woman in your poem. What does this man want? xx