Photo by Capricorn song on Unsplash

Picking up the pieces

Pierre Whalon
4 min readJan 17


In 1642, the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell took the city of Winchester. They broke down the doors of the Cathedral, smashed the coffins of monarchs buried therein, and hurled the bones through the stained glass windows.

Francis Quarles, in his posthumously published Shepherd’s Oracles, recorded a song called “Hey, Then, Up Go We” :

Know this, my brethren, heaven is clear,

And all the clouds are gone;

The righteous man shall flourish now,

Good days are coming on.

Then come, my brethren, and be glad,

And eke rejoyce with me;

Lawn sleeves and rochets shall go down,

And hey, then, up go we.

We’ll break the windows which the whore

Of Babylon hath painted,

And when the popish saints are down

Then Barrow shall be sainted;

There’s neither cross nor crucifix

Shall stand for men to see,

Rome’s trash and trumpery shall go down,

And hey, then, up go we.

Whate’er the Popish hands have built

Our hammers shall undo;

We’ll break their pipes and burn their copes,

And pull down churches too;

We’ll exercise within the groves,

And teach beneath a tree;

We’ll make a pulpit of a cask,

And hey, then, up go we.

Resurrection, not restoration

At the Restoration, the townspeople picked up the fragments and placed them in the west window (cover picture). But they could not put the puzzle pieces back together again. The result is stunning — as if it were a recent composition.

There are a lot of sermons in this, methinks. The former glory of Bishop William Edington’s 14-century windows could not be restored, but something extraordinary came of it.



Pierre Whalon

Bishop in charge, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, 2001–2019. French-American. Musician, composer, author, happily married.