A son of Gloucestershire, pronounced a thorn
in Henry Tudor’s side, obliged to ply
his trade in continental sanctuaries.
Opposed by Wolsey and Sir Thomas More.
Compelled to witness bishops making bonfires
of his books. Hounded from pillar to post,
shipwrecked, betrayed, imprisoned, garrotted,
burnt at the stake by secular authorities.
His name is absent from the Oxford dictionary
of quotations, although his phraseology
is represented in its pages more
than any other writer, bar the Bard.
People who’ve never been inside a church,
or turned the pages of a testament
use his expressions on a daily basis.
The Word may well be God’s, but arguably
the well from which the English learnt to draw it
was divined and dug by William Tyndale.
We are grateful to Peter Wyton for allowing us to reproduce his poem in the Journal.