Church of England Diocese of Canterbury Stanford

The Patch of Blue - A poem by Father Andrew of the Society of Divine Compassion

31 Mar 2020, midnight

He was a priest friar whose church in London was bombed twice and yet, busy as he was, took time to write this little book of poems. His desire to lift the spirits of the British people, much as we need now, during this current crisis. Inside the cover is the name of the original owner, James H Trench, along with his service number and base address. The following poem may lift flagging spirits today, as it did then, and is Father Andrew’s gift of love.

The sky was grey and, so it seemed to me,

The kind of grey that hovers threateningly

Above the world with all its fear and hate,

A lid to shut men down, not heaven’s gate.

Dear God, forgive me! That were never true, -

I looked again and saw a patch of blue.

One little patch of blue, but oh, so pure,

Where the grey parted, just to make me sure

The blue was there behind the shrouding grey.

That patch of blue gave courage to my day.

Friend of my heart, I pass the thought to you,

In your grey sky there’s still a patch of blue.

Grey days of duty and grey days of pain,

Grey days of weariness, again, again!

Yea, well I know it, but faith, hope, and love

Abide unconquered, and you yet shall prove

The sky holds still somewhere its patch of blue.

Here I have seen it: you shall see it too.

‘Tis grey to us maybe and wearily

We toil along; but we have had bright days;

While others wept we sang our songs of praise.

If now we only see a leaden hue,

Another’s eyes have spied a patch of blue.

Even when Christ our Lord for you and me

Breathed His last sigh of death on Calvary,

In all that darkness Love was still enthroned

And, though with bramble, royally was crowned.

Then came Ascension Day, when He passed through,

And skies for ever since have kept their blue!