(LONDON MAY 11th 1941)
I walked to Ludgate Hill down from the Strand,
By broken beauty of a Cityís shattered breast;
Where streets, tradition-steeped, were piled
With debris; where men fought fire to wrest,
From fiercest hate, the fragments of a grand
And glorious heritage; untiring men, who smiled.
I saw St. Clements Dane, and thought of Spring,
Of fashionable weddings and decades now done;
But smouldering walls and empty aisles were hushed
With silence of rebuke for splendour gone;
From ruined pews lost echoes seemed to ring
With peals of praise, but ravished bells lay crushed.
Then, poised out of chaos and this Dantesque
Shrouded by smoke, the high familiar dome,
Splendidly proud above the crumbling walls
And devastation, the symbol of our Home,
And Britainís faith and effort, shone supreme,
An edifice of glory, old St. Pauls.