This is a poem by a master of the language from the XVIth Century and a bit later. There is a bit of a key at the end to remind us of a bit of variation of precise meanings of certain words, but it is generally understandable by all. My first priest, the Rev. Rollo K. Rilling was a jolly old soul, looking as he did there very embodiment of Santa Clause's younger brother. He was quite a student of the language, being an expert from the period of the changes from English Gaelic dialects as they melded their tongues around the Norman French. He taught us catechism classes with a profound seriousness and he also lectured us on the formative English language periods and influences.
Saint Bede the Venerable
673 - 725 A.D.
Doctor of the Church, Monk
Wrote the first ecclesiastical
history of the English people
and is called the Father of
English History and literature ___________________
Many Episcopalians were devastated when the Protestant Episcopal Church of America threw out the Book of Common Prayer that essentially dated back to the mid - 1500s. It contained intricately precise verbiage and eloquence and comfortable instruction never equalled since. It was the same as the Romans throwing the Latin out....something they should have at a minimum alternated with the local vernacular. Still to this day, when the Tridentine Roman Mass is celebrated at the Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Roble in downtown Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico soldiers and police must be called in to control traffick and pedestrian crowds....even of young people. The last time the date was named, three Masses had to be expanded to nine....and we are talking about a Basilica that can hold 5,000 communicants.
The loss of the "Old Book" for the Americans led to the evacuation of the Episcopal Church of the most loyal. The emphasis upon advancing respect and honours to homosexuals above all else, instead of worrying about the souls of all of the Nazarene's brethren also has driven a stake into the Episcopal Church's vital organs. As socialism translates into the notion that the property of everyone soon becomes the rusted, broken, weedy, and littered property of no one, so too does a church that seeks relevance and congruity with the mode du jour soon becomes irrelevant to those in need of repair or maintenance of soul.
Lord, Thou hast given me a cell Wherein
to dwell, A little house, whose humble roof Is weather-proof: Under the
spars of which I lie Both soft, and dry; Where Thou my chamber for to
ward Hast set a guard Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep Me, while
I sleep. Low is my porch, as is my fate, Both void of state; And yet
the threshold of my door Is worn by th' poor, Who thither come and freely
get Good words, or meat. Like as my parlour, so my hall And kitchen's
small; A little buttery, and therein A little bin, Which keeps my
little loaf of bread Unchipp'd, unflead;* Some brittle sticks of thorn or
briar Make me a fire, Close by whose living coal I sit, And glow like
it. Lord, I confess too, when I dine, The pulse§ is
Thine, And all those other bits, that be There plac'd by Thee; The
worts†, the purslain, and the mess Of water-cress, Which of Thy
kindness Thou hast sent; And my content Makes those, and my beloved
beet, To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering
hearth With guiltless mirth; And giv'st me wassail-bowls to
drink, Spic'd to the brink. Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand That
soils my land; And giv'st me, for my bushel sown, Twice ten for
one; Thou mak'st my teeming hen to lay Her egg each day; Besides my
healthful ewes to bear Me twins each year; The while the conduits of my
kine Run cream, for wine. All these, and better, Thou dost send Me, to
this end, That I should render, for my part, A thankful heart, Which,
fir'd with incense, I resign, As wholly Thine; But the acceptance, that
must be, My Christ, by Thee.
*Unchipp'd = "intact", i.e., no part of
the loaf broken or
crumbled off; unflead = "unflayed", i.e., no
off or inner part laid bare. pulse =
beans, peas, etc.;
† worts = root vegetables or herbs. This contribution is taken by force from the blog of a gentleman who has become a guide, advisor, and advocate for many of us who are Orthodox and Traditionalists. He is the attorney Alex Haley (click here -
Anglican Curmudgeon-A Thanksgiving to God, for His House), truly a knight without armour, fighting the dragons of secular humanism and artificial social democracy. He is among the five most intelligent and knowledgeable men with whom El Gringo Viejo has interacted during his nearly four score and ten.