O three times famous isle, where is that place that might
Be with thyself compared for glory and delight,
Whilst Glastonbury stood? exalted to that pride,
Whose monastery seemed all other to deride:
O, who thy ruin sees, whom wonder doth not fill
With their great fathers’ pomp, devotion, and their skill?
Thou more than mortal power (this judgment rightly weighed),
Then present to assist, at that foundation laid;
On whom for this sad waste should justice lay the crime?
Is there a power in fate, or doth it yield to time?
Or was there error such, that thou couldst not protect
Those buildings which thy hand did with their zeal erect?
To whom didst thou commit that monument to keep,
That suffered with the dead their memory to sleep,
When not great Arthur’s tomb nor holy Joseph’s grave
From sacrilege had power their sacred bones to save?
He who that God in man to his sepulchre brought,
Or he which for the faith twelve famous battles fought.
What! did so many kings do honour to that place,
For avarice at last so vilely to deface?
For reverence to that seat which had ascribed been,
Trees yet in winter bloom, and bear their summer’s green.

Michael Drayton (1563 – 1631)

Glastonbury Abbey


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