Sold with all faults

Sold With All Faults
(An auction at the Wesleyan Chapel, Camelford).

Amongst the props that proved their testament
are lots no bidder bid …

Gospels, foxed and mouldering
a piano (though its heart's still holding)
is riddled to the lid with worm.

Well worth we're told, each note conforms,
true tempered at nine quid.

In lots of ten, two score of pews of firm pine …

(How many times the infant mind, infirm of concentration
a perturbation pitched to confrontation
must have pined in boredom on these boards).

Will fashion strip that patten'd thralldom?
New varnish … seat hoards whose fretful beat
enthuse to tunes so gross.

Poor ghost: beneath such crass confuse of sound
your hymn to Christ is truly ground.

Bound there and hung in tarnished gilt – a seminary of souls.

Who'll bid for dead dignitaries,
these stern, unyielding signatories;
faith's penury glazed by brittle glass?

I'llpass and this despite their gaze so once alight with 'righteous reason',
desires forgotten as those treasons to the pyre of mother church.

That search for grace falls in the hammer's flight,
its crack confirms the price 'at sight' …

Sold then with all faults.