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Favourite Poem


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I have collected many pilgrim poems, prayers and mantras and this one is my favourite. (I have combined the lines to shorten the space it takes on this post - they should be 4 lines each verse.)

Ultreya Santiago
From the Confraternity of Saint James bulletin No 72 : by Alan Sheppard

I stand upon the road of time and see the path I have to climb;
from valleys low to heights sublime; the way to Santiago!

This shrine for pilgrims from each age has been writ large on history's page;
and now I, too, will take the stage to play for Saint Iago!

I see the ghosts of pilgrims past who to the challenge all held fast
and reached their journey's end at last - the goal of Santiago!

I see them all as I look back, who trod before this ancient track,
and in their faith did nothing lack, with strength from Santiago!

The legends of Asturias say that pilgrim souls still walk The Way;
I too believe that, from today, O mystic Santiago!

Their presence overwhelms me here, those pilgrims who, in every year,
went forth without concern or fear, in hope of Santiago!

Yet what a strange thing it must seem to join a ghostly pilgrim stream!
I wonder if it's just a dream of ancient Santiago?

Have I, through time's machines and gears, transported back a thousand years
to hear the early pilgrims' cheers as they reached Santiago?

Not so! I'm here in time and space, and on this path I take my place
with those of every creed and race who go to Santiago!

Then suddenly, so soft and low, I hear a voice from long ago.
Within that timeless pilgrim flow en route to Santiago:

"Take heart, my friend, you're not alone. Think not you travel on your own:
Though we're no longer flesh and bone we go to Santiago!"

The Field of Stars before me lies ‘neath Compostela's blessed skies.
To that fair place I lift my eyes - the sight of Santiago!

That vision spurred me to the end and pilgrimage brought many a friend;
I also learned how to depend on trusty Santiago!

But now that journey's far behind I seek to help those who're inclined
to look for that same peace of mind I found in Santiago.

So come, dear friends, and take your turn. My ashes lie in funerary urn
yet still my pilgrim spirits yearn to fly to Santiago!

Because in time I played my part and 'El Camino' won my heart,
I wait to join you at the start - Ultreya Santiago!



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