Friday, August 15, 2008

Tunes for Assumption Day

Once, it is said, on an isle in an age long past,
The sky was very dark at night and the stars shone clear,
And the people looked in holy awe at times
On the lights that turned the high court of the year,
And knew the signs. "It goes to Walsingham", they said,
Hushed, for overhead, chill miles across the sky
The white track, glorious of converging light,
As though showering trees lined a path on the height,
Ran over the road to the shrine of the Lady who does not die.
- Meredith, 16 and drunk on Hopkins

Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!

- JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Up through an empty house of stars,
Being what heart you are,
Up the inhuman steeps of space
As on a staircase go in grace,
Carrying the firelight on your face
Beyond the loneliest star.
- GKC, Ballad of the White Horse


Sheila said...

I like yours. It actually sounds more Tolkien than Hopkins to me: the "age long past," the simple diction at times ("the sky was very dark at night," "holy awe," "Lady who does not die"), the starriness. There's some of both, of course.

Meredith said...

Thanks! The funny thing about it is that the last three lines are in the "Wreck of the Deutschland" meter. It was completely accidental. That was what I meant by drunk on Hopkins. But yeah, "the Lady who does not die" is Tolkien.

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some guy on the street said...

When I read this morning the name of the new Personal Ordinariate, I knew I remembered "it goes to Walsingham" from *somewhere*... Google obliges that you are responsible for both internet records of this phrase that it knows.

Must you write so catchily?

God bless!