The Child and the Cathedral Gwendolyn MacEwan (1941-1987) The T.E. Lawrence Poems, 1982 It was in the white light of a dreadful afternoon that I saw the child. She wore a bright White dress and was playing with a ball in front Of the cathedral. I knew she was animal; in my hatred Of animals I began to balance her against the cathedral. If I had to sacrifice one of them, I asked myself - which would it be? I knew it was The cathedral. I would destroy it to save her. Another time I swerved at sixty miles an hour To save some damned little bird that dashed itself out against my side-car. Why did it have to Kill itself against me, for God's sake, why me? Don't they know their existence wounds me, don't They know I am the victim of such loveliness I want to die in it and cannot? DOn't they know the hatred and fear and pity go on and on And turn into love, horrible love that bashes its brains out against the light?