Love bade me by Stephen Raw | photo/simonmarsh | please click to enlarge
LIFE HAS BEEN absurdly hectic in the last few weeks. It always is in the run-up to our summer holiday and we’re looking forward to ten days near, on and around Ullswater from next week.
We’re currently hosting Stephen Raw’s wonderful artwork “Love bade me welcome” in St Michael’s Lantern tower and it’s such a comfort to me – and to many others. Hurtling and splashing around the place at a rate of knots it’s a marvellous thing to be stilled and awed – like Parson George Herbert, in Bemerton, before me – the inspiration behind this particular work …
Love bade me welcome
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”;
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.
George Herbert, 3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633
Stephen’s art can also be seen locally at St Ann’s Hospice, and he has exhibited further afield in Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United States. One of his paintings is in the collection of the Stiftung Archiv der Künste, Berlin. Stephen currently sits on The Royal Mint Design Advisory Committee chaired by Sir Christopher Frayling