So Walsingham then came a place of great fame
And Our Lady herself was called by this name
And many a pilgrim to the day of his death
Took the road once a year to “England’s Nazareth.”
So crowded were roads that the stars, people say,
That shine in the heavens were called “Walsingham Way.”
And many the favours and graces bestowed
On those who in faith took the pilgrimage road.
The Image of Mary with her Holy Son
Was honoured and feted by everyone.
The Canons and Friars built houses around
And the praises of God were a regular sound.
And Kings, Lords and commons their homage would pay
And the burning tapers turned night into day.
But at last came a King who had greed in his eyes
And he lusted for treasure with fraud and with lies.
The order went forth; and with horror ’twas learned
That the Shrine was destroyed and the Image was burned.
And here where God’s Mother had once been enthroned
The souls that stayed faithful ‘neath tyranny groaned.
And this realm which had once been Our Lady’s own Dower
Had its Church now enslaved by the secular power.
And so dark night fell on this glorious place
Where of all former glories there hardly was trace.
Yet a thin stream of pilgrims still walked the old way
And hearts longed to see this night turned into day.
Till at last, when full measure of penance was poured,
In her Shrine see the honour of Mary restored:
Again ‘neath her Image the tapers shine fair,
In her children’s endeavours past wrongs to repair.
Again in her House her due honour is taught:
Her name is invoked, her fair graces besought:
And the sick and the maimed seek the pilgrimage way,
And miraculous healing their bodies display.
Oh Mother, give heed to the prayer of our heart,
That your glory from here never more may depart.
From the Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn