The Treasure

We carried the treasure on our shoulders
as we walked across the sea.
And others who were in a state of grace
processed along the saint’s wide shirt sleeves,
stepping from the cuffs at the same time

as he set foot on the other shore.
Behind us the brutal and the avaricious
struggled to find passage in boats and ships
but were held in port by sudden storms.
We put the treasure in its sanctuary,

then went our way. But a certain knight
returned to the place and ignoring
the cry of warning from a burning cloud,
went in and was struck blind and was paralysed;
a small loss, he felt, compared to having glimpsed

the treasure in its open joy unveiled.
Only his tongue was unaffected,
and in a chapel specially built nearby,
he praised God ceaselessly for two centuries,
while he lay upon a bier before the Host.