Gospel, goblet and crude brass bell,
that ‘clog’ crushed Druid-dire spells:
humble tocsin healed – it couldn’t save;
promise plundered from Patrick’s grave.
Bell toll challenged ‘Ard Ri’ royalty,
craftsmen reclaimed subjects loyalty:
patterned shrine glowed sunrise gold,
the sound-bow silenced, once sung bold.
Blessings hindered, bell safely hidden,
paganism preached, Christ forbidden;
gemstones glittered, securely embedded,
High King of heaven, Celtic kings dreaded.
Centuries-buried bell, in oaken ark,
Victorian spade hit mapped-out mark;
anxious antiquarians sighed with relief,
precious bell safe from priest and thief.
Wholly-hidden, battered bell holds breath,
miracles multiplied since Patrick’s death;
glass encased shrine, gathered tourists stare –
pilgrims alone utter the Breastplate prayer….
image: Wayne Eaton http://www.etsy.com/shop/WEatonMedievalArts
* clog, tr from Irish = bell
**Patrick’s Bell was considered so holy, or its miraculous powers so uncontrollable, that it had to be shielded from mortal gaze in a gem studded case. Between 1091 and 1105 it was encased in a shrine, commissioned by King Domhnall Ua Lochlainn.