ALL THOSE YEARS ago Tom Ball blessed my ears to hear the poor cry out for help, and I still hear them right enough. I hear them when the mouse squeals in the owl's cruel claw. I hear them when the famished wolf howls hunger at the moon. I hear them when old Wear goes rattling past in weariness, and in the keening of the wind, and when the rain beats hollow on my roof. In all such sounds I hear the poor folk's bitter need and in the dimtongued silence too. But when melody wells up in thrushes' throats, and bees buzz honeysong, and rock and river clap like hands in summer sun, then misery's drowned in minstrelsy, and Godric's glad in spite of all.
-Originally published in Godric