DAWN: and we picture the hills and
the trees silhouetted against the great golden orb corning from the east, but in this dawn there were no hills and no trees and no golden orb, only the drab ruins of the workers' homes and the sharp steel and heavy fagged leaden fragments of the bombs that had rained down through a night of horror on what our Press buries anonymously under the title " a West Midland Town."
The soft twilight of an April night had stealrhily merged into that translucent Rlow Mat is the harbinger of a brilliant moonlight night—one of God's most lovely gifts to men, but which the savagery of man m-day has taught us In this-West Midland town to look /forward to with horror.
I was sitting finishing the day's Office. having already reconciled myself to the thought that I was in for a soft night on my turn of fire-watrhing, when a humming in the air caught my ear. No banshee warning had gone, the hum grew to a roar, " Wks% the AP is filled with them, Yes,
they are Ours. This is our new night attack; our answer to the savagery of the Luftwaffe; my word. God help the Germans if they meet this air flotilla "II!
Ji WHISTLING, whining noise, a crash, 1-1 a roar. I was on the ground, a glass door in pieces on top of me. " Ours, ye gods! and no warning gone."
For seven long agonising hours through that moonlight sky they roared, wave after wave—through Me air their messages ot death and destruction came hurtling down hi hellish fury. Homes went up and walls itent down, blaziug ruins dimmed the brilhence of the moonlight. An ugly crater yawned where in my hole garden the first spring flowers were breaking through.
Back and fro, back and fro, from front door to back door, from back door to frond door; all through that never-ending night I went—then it lull—a hush, the " all clear " has gone.
TIRED in body and soul I sank into my "i chair. How long .1 slept I know not, when the cold air blowing on my face from where a door had been last night, Woke me up,. How quiet and how 30 everything was. This silence seemed something weirdly unreal tin the heels of the hellish din of a few hours ago. There was just a grey light In the sky. In a little while I. heard the twittering of a bird. At the back of my garden trees and a hedge grew. Another bird had joined its mate in song, and then another and another, until the air that had hummed last night with the horrors of hissing hate was filled with a volume of melody
that the angels might envy. To me it seemed now that a huge screen of song hung from the very heavens.
In a very few matures it formed the background for the clearer notes and rally of linnets and bullfinches, more vibrant and more thrilling than the song of the smaller birds. Then there came our of the brightening sky the whistle of a blackbird, and another—a thrush—thrushes—until the air simply thrilled and vibrated with this glorious heavenly chorus of God's feathered world.
sat there and listened, trying to attune my ears from the hellish din and fury of two how's before to this angelic chorus. My heart Medwith joy and happiness—Was riot this symbolic of all that was happening, and would happen, in God's grand world — God—Goodness — Beauty—Love —Music—the song of the birds—the perfume of the spring flowers—these and all good things will go on and live for ever in spite of hale and war and horror.
IGOT up to see that dawn—the dawn of Holy Thursday—another ugly scar, born out of hate and vengeance, gaped in the walls of Mat school which I had built in order to **teach my little ones how to love God and man. Above me were the torn walls and the gaping empty window sockets—like the eyeholes in a skull—of Mai church from which only a few months ago Christ and His Blessed Mother and His saints gazed down with gentle eyes of love on the men and women—aye—and the children too, who knelt below theor•in lovirrg veneration. All arotind the Ironies of my people were in ruins. Ugly openings in the good earth piped everywhere. At my feet a huge crater wa.s filled is-ith the torn-up daffodils and early tulips; hut on its edges a little bunch of whim and yellow crocuses still survived and grew—white and yellow I thought—the colours of the Pope—a symbol of our Church—and I whispered to myself, " Ilehond I orn with you all days—even till the end of the world" in the dawn of a West Midland town.