The son of the Bishop Selwyn,
Who had been killed and
Eaten by New Zealand savages,
Rev. and scholar travelled in the Middle East.
In Northern Palestine he encountered
A form of Judaism at Nablus practised by the
Samaritans of Samaria.
He befriended the priest
Who gave him a page of an old parchment in Samarian
Which later his widow Mrs Selwyn
Gave to my great-grandfather,
Also a Rev. and scholar, who pasted it
In the appropriate section of
The Bible for Every Land.
Let us follow the heavy green book
From the grand rectory at Gloucester
To the square-stone house of Thurlstone,
From the vicarage of Stannington
To the parsonage of Launceston
On the Devon/Somerset border.
Back again to Thurlstone
Where it languished for decades
Behind the red horse-hair curtain
In the corridor outside my father’s room
On dusty shelves of old/odd books.
On my father’s passing it was transferred
By road to northern Portugal where it rested for a couple
Of years in my little shelve-lined hall
Until the time came when circumstances obliged me
To end up in this place.
After four or five years, on emerging from the shadow-lands
Back into the light, I took down the heavy green book,
Found the old parchment
And it boggled my mind.
(To be continued)