Scarlet Pimpernels



So many sunny childhood days
I sat by that enchanted Spring,
gazing at the ruby blooms,
awaiting angels on the wing
to whisper Urith’s Holy truth;
sweet Urith, murdered in her youth.

Sweet Urith, murdered in her youth.
sliced by scythes whilst in her prime,
by pagan farmhands, fighting Christ,
a faith in God her only crime,
and where she fell, fast sprung a well,
and pimpernels, the deed to tell.

And pimpernels, the deed to tell,
grew where poor Urith’s life’s-blood lay
sprinkled by that virgin belle.
Though centuries have passed away,
the spring still trickles water clear,
and pimpernels bloom very year.

And pimpernels bloom every year.
These modest flowers mark the space
where Urith lay in silent death,
reminding all who pass that place
of Chittlehampton’s hallowed youth;
Saint Urith, martyred for God’s truth.

Yes! I’ve finally done it! I’ve written the poem I wanted to write about Saint Urith. I’m happy with this one. As soon as I’ve posted this, I’m going to do a little dance.

Β©Jane Paterson Basil


39 thoughts on “Scarlet Pimpernels

  1. I’ll joint you in the jig πŸ™‚ I really love what you have done to this. And now I know what Scarlet Pimpernels look like. When I was in school I can still vividly remember a story about a vigilante called the SP during the French revolution. He was dashing, handsome, daring, courageous …. like a Robin Hood, or a Batman of the era, dashing around rescuing damsels in distress. It captured the romance of my teenaged heart at the time. And the name has been etched into my memory. I never knew it was a flower πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

        1. When I first read your message I thought you were talking about Jesus (which didn’t sound at all like you), and I was about to take issue with you for comparing him to Batman et al. I’m glad you were referring to the Scarlet Pimpernel πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Calen – this is what I was trying to get. Last night I saw a contest which asks for a poem about a mystery place, and this poem just fell out of me. Maybe now I’ll be able to leave St. Urith to rest in peace πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d rather work with someone local.
          I know a guy who had a lot of his songs ripped off by a member of a certain well-known band who played a few times in Barnstaple, back in the day, and I’m a bit concerned about copyright – maybe you can guess who…
          Laura’s Joe says to have a go at it. I like the idea.


          1. When I use to play tin whistle (your favourite instrument ) I was always inventing tunes and I think I could have come up with something. You know the song ‘Judge Goefreys’ of course, was Joan Biaz or someone, I think that type of tune, a bit mournful, would work well. By the way, it is impossible to find that song on Spotify, a bit annoying really as they are meant to have any music that has been commercially produced.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I used to sing Judge Jeffries to the kids. It was Julie Felix.
              It’s sad that you weren’t encouraged musically. You have an ear. You noticed the lines of the poem are in time with Judge Jeffries; I didn’t.
              If you ever put down your paintbrush and pick up the tin whistle…
              We should all have encouraged each other more, but we are as we are, and we each have our issues xx


              1. Yes it’s a bit sad, you with your writing me with music. I started picking up the whistle again when I was looking after Angela, she had dementia so didn’t seem to mind! I cant play at the house, the radio, TV, music exuberant conversation all cause problems.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. How I feel about the whistle depends on who’s playing it, and what’s being played. It can be hauntingly lovely, or just an irritating screech.
                  Your home is too limiting. When Heather Salmon saves up enough money for her huge house, we can each have one of her barns. They’ll be soundproofed and have blackout curtains so nobody will know if we’re in.

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