Recusants of Middle-Earth

Hobbits of the country Shire

(Pilgrims with crude farming tools)

Servants of the Secret Fire

(Priests concealed in stifling holes)


Ring of Power from Sauron’s hand

(Becket’s ring King Henry claimed)

Darkness falling o’er the land

(More and Margaret’s parting pain)


Evenstar of an Elvish maid

(Relics torn from Catholic breasts)

Secrets in a broken blade

(Swords that severed martyrs’ necks)


Enchanted string The Bearer climbs

(Brave Pearl of Tyburn with her rope)

A cape that can both warm and hide

(Bold Lady Nithsdale with her cloak)


Tokens from an elfin queen

(Gifts from Mary, full of grace)

Spider’s Cave pierced by the gleam

(Tower cell turned sacred space)


Crawling o’er Mt. Doom’s debris

(Dragged through London’s muddy lanes)

Through hellish ash no one can see

(Vision dimmed by bitter rain)


Ugly beings with deadened eyes

(Crowds are jeering all around)

In coarse Black Speech their insults rise

(Hot blood is splattered on the ground)


Ageless Middle Earthen lay

(“Te Deum” sung at Campion’s trial)

Water Silver, Havens Gray,

(Hearts torn out, lips in a smile)

By Avellina Balestri