Peter Hammill

The Lie (Bernini's St. Theresa)

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Genuflection / erection in church.
Sacristy cloth / moth-eaten shroud.
Secret silence / sacred secrets
accumulate dust, aggravate the eye.
Incautious laughter after confession.
Benediction ------- fictional fear
Hidden faces ... Grace is a name,
like Chastity, like Lucifer, like mine.

You took me through the window-stain,
drowned in image, inscence, choir-refrain
and slow ecstasy ------
I'd embrace you if I only knew your name....

The silent corner haunts my shadow prayers :
ice-cold statue -- rapture divine,
unconscious eyes,
the open mouth,
the wound of love,
the Lie.

You took me, gave me reasons for
saints and missals, vigils, all the more
holy martyrs -----
I'd embrace you and walk through
the one-way door...
I'd embrace you, but it would be
just another lie ----------

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