Where A Scarlet Flower Will Blossom

IMG_0398`Where A Scarlet Flower Will Blossom’ performed by Belgian Flugel Horn player Sebastien Rousseau. This piece is written as a short epitaph to WWI nurse Edith Cavell who was shot by firing squad in Brussels in 1915. `Where A Scarlet Flower Will Blossom’ is taken from a larger work for Flugel Horn and String Orchestra entitled the `The Scarlet Flower’.

 

The writer and poet Martin Westlake wrote this poem to go with this work.

THE SCARLET FLOWER

The priest leaves and the guards lock the door, shaking their heads.

Matron Cavell sits straight-backed on the wooden chair

(So recently an altar) and tidies her nightgown.

She places her hands on her knees, stares down at the herring bone parquet

And frowns in momentary calculation.

 

Six hours remain to her – six hours.

Her life’s little day is ebbing swiftly to its close.

Her affairs are in order, her letters are written,

Her clock is bequeathed, her soul is prepared.

There will be no fear or shrinking and certainly no weeping;

For the gas light burns all night and the guards check regularly.

 

She smiles at the flowers her girls had sent her,

Now faded and wilted in the cell’s enamel jug.

She kneels, joins her hands,

And gazes at the crucifix on the wall.

 

Cast thy heart firmly on the Lord,

And fear not the judgment of men.

If it be Thy will I should be in darkness

Be Thou blessed.

 

The guards’ voices echo in the prison corridor.

She raises a trembling hand to the stern, pale brow

Where a scarlet flower will blossom

Later that same morning.

 

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