In the Isles of the West where cold winds blow,
There dwelt a young soldier a long time ago,
Who lived by the sword, the spear and the bow,
Then these ways he forsook;
That soldier was Comgall from Antrim’s shore,
Blessed with wisdom and vision that opened a door,
To the ways of the Lord in the darkness of yore,
For truth he’d search and look.
With St Finnian and others, he chose to abide,
In whose shadow he listened close by their side,
Laws of Moses and Gospels to him were applied,
In Comgall they must have been proud;
His endeavours began in the north of the land,
Where he shone as a light with his following band,
Many more coming forth beside him to stand,
His message was clear to the crowd.
“Go forth to the heathen, the wicked and wise,
Pass on the Lord’s word, worry not of demise,
You’re not to be daunted, their souls are the prize”,
And so, the message was spread;
From the rolls and the script, it sounded again,
O’er mountains, the valleys, lakes and the plain,
The Goth and the Vandal had laboured in vain,
Their passing recalled with dread.
Comgall was divinely blessed anyone could see,
Men came on his calling and followed his decree,
Passing on his teachings to others o’er the sea,
Thus, the ember became a flame;
In dales and hostile places, the truth began to flow,
To Barbarian and the Pagan, they fearlessly did go,
The word of the Nazarene was sowed for it to grow,
By men who were not tame.
At the fork of two roads in old Bangor Town,
Is the Church of St Comgall that Saint of renown,
Proudly built it stands in the County of Down,
A reminder in our day;
‘Twas here that he walked the brow of the hill,
Striving in thought to do and answer God’s will,
Directing others with knowledge and skill,
Them for their part to play.
Gone fourteen centuries with Comgall in repose,
His story now of legend to reflect on and disclose
Here in the northland his memory glows,
Where his Church points above;
Celtic Cross on the Spire o’er Hallowed Hall,
Belfry Bells hung within, to peal and to call,
Come forth to a pew before his Pulpit tall,
And hear of Christian love.
Hark to the God of Creation, to him now turn your face;
Know of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, Fathers of our race.
Let the word born in Bethlehem fill you with ‘The Grace’,
At Bangor on the Hill.
Monty Alexander 14.1.99