Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Considerations for the Poem

Theme: Being a Christian (ie. saint) does not mean "acting good."  Nor does it mean "doing good works."  Both of those are important and necessary for the larger goal, but they are not the goal.  Being a Christian is being transformed into Christ, becoming by grace what He is by Nature.  Theosis.  In Protestant terms, you might say it is sanctification or glorification rather than justification (although both are really the same).  Anyway, when you truly become Christian, you begin to transform the world around you.  Or, rather, the life of Christ in your begins to redeem the world around you.

Structure:
  • Use as many phrases from the Old English poems as possible
  • Basic ballad form (ABCB)
    • Rhyming: A/B/C/B, A/B/C/C/C/B
    • A and C lines are 8 syllables, B lines are 6 syllables

Resources:

Outline: (Read the whole poem, so far, or one section at a time.  The sections will eventually have the sources I used for inspiration.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Death of Guthlac

Heed the words, the life of Christ
And ask not how or why
Death conquers when you try to live (win)
Yet loses when you die.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Prophecy to Pega

This part is unnecessary, but I'm going to go ahead and start writing it until I decide not to use it.  Guthlac prophecies to Pega of  many things, including the coming of the Reformers:

The Sovereign God is all they know
Omnipotent above
So desperate, they, to make Him King
God-in-control of everything
(or "God is in control," they sing)
Conductor, pulling every string
That He forgets He's Love

Yes, Christ is King! He reigns in ways
We cannot comprehend
He makes a throne of maiden-womb
A cradle, cross and stone-sealed tomb
And, bringing light to Sheol's gloom,
He reigns and brings death's end.

The Cure of Crowland

St. Bartholomew gives Guthlac the scourge, at which point Guthlac begins wildly running about Crowland, like Quixote at the windmills, chasing away the demons that only he can see.


Let God arise, and scattered wide
Be all His enemies (let all His en'mies be)
And let all those who hate His face
Before His presence flee


The brethren, baffled, could not find
The foe at which he flailed
From foe to foe .... fly
His scouring scourge fell from on high
And "Kyrie!" his battle-cry
The demons he assailed

A mad berserker's crazed attack
As feral, fierce and wild
Yet holy joy was in his face
As the running, leaping saint gave chase
A bizzare ballet, a perplexing race
As giddy as a child

Like Jesus in the temple court
With tables tipped and thrown
......
.......
And just as once in Jericho (or "like Joshua at Jericho")
The walls came tumb'ling down

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prologue

So (or Hwaet), let us now praise famous men
The fathers of our faith
The saints who from their labours rest
Now full of Truth and Grace

(This section, and the two that follow, are mostly based on Ecclesiasticus 44.  Also, I have included a send-up to the hymn "For All the Saints."  As an aside, I highly recommend the Indelible Grace rendering of the hymn.  The "truth and grace" line is meant to show that we are to "become by grace what Christ is by nature" as St. Athanasius says in "On the Incarnation.")

The Lord, by them, great glory wrought
Through prophet, priest and king
Through virgin pure and martyr meek
The poor in spirit, silent, weak,
Through Roman, Hebrew, Celt and Greek
And golden-tongues that sing.

And there are some that we forget
As though they'd never been
Yet, God remembers each one still
And still, they are our kin.

(This stanza comes from Ecclesiasticus 44 as well, but is unnecessary.)

They filled the earth with holiness
As bread is filled with leaven
As the Word of God once, with His birth
In weakness laid aside His worth
Thus dragging heaven down to earth
And earth, with Him, to heaven.

(This sets the theme for the whole poem.  Following the kenotic ... if that's a word ..., self-emptying Way of Christ is how we become Christians and, thus, saints.  But this path is not about acting holy or even about becoming holy.  It's about transformation participating in the transformation of the world, the redemption of the world.  Guthlac doesn't just become holy.  He makes the world around him holy.)


O! Ubi sunt sancti Dei
The blessed by God who bless
The soldiers of the risen Son
Who waged the war of faith and won (or fought the fight of faith)
Is there not left on earth just one?
O! Sancte, ubi es?

(This section is based on the excellent and somewhat ironic lament of St. Ephrem the Syrian.)

Though vulgar Cretins here, behold! (or "ornery orphans")
Their cloud surrounds us still
From prayers raised in Ninian's cave
To Mary Hazel's holy grave
And Brendan's mass at Whale-on-wave
All following God's will

(The second line is a reference to Hebrews 12:1.   When I went to Scotland, I was blessed to visit St. Ninian's Cave.  It made an impression on me.  St. Mary Hazel of Sleep Hollow is from the Celtic Catholic Church.  The line regarding St. Brendan references his celebration of the Eucharist on the back of a whale and the penchant for English towns to be named "Something-on-Something".  English nerd humour.  It doesn't get more obscure than that.)

The holy ones and watchers come
As we, on Christ, are fed
Iona's monks the dead-paths race
While six-winged seraphs hide their face
And singing, "Sanctus," join in praise
When God becomes the bread.

The throne of God descends to earth
The temple veil is furled
All heav'n surrounds us as we sup
Prostrate before the holy cup
With wine and blood and God filled up
The center of the world

Ideas and Phrases from Old English Poems

Phrases and ideas to use:
  • wrack-kin, wreck, rack, rock, wretched, rack for avarice
  • fated-farer on your way to the holy home
  • all earthly abundance elders and from their beauty fruiting things fade
  • earth-weal over eternal warfare
  • God's poorling
  • wide is the wilderness
  • worldly weapon
  • heaved up harm-songs
  • sighed their sorrow
  • vicious verses / division of death
  • indwells and increases
  • souls of the soothfast
  • middle earth is shared out in halves / The Lord watches wheret hey dwell that keep His law / He sees His judgments decline every day and stray / from the worldly rule that He established by His own Word / He finds many, but few will be selected
  • Some dwell in desert places, they willingly seek out and occupy homes in the shadows
  • wise in woven-lies
  • all things of earth were fleeting in the wind
  • he denied his body house
  • “Alone, I can oppress you all – while on my rump – without much hardship”
  • sacred soul-mysteries indwells and increases
  • Wretched ghasts / wights
  • dwelling on the dale, his desired home
  • Thus, a warrior should always campaign for God in his heart
  • He does not allow the Olden-Foe to misturn his mind from his Maker
  • wretched and wracking
  • blame-babblers
  • Greater still that Christ sought middle earth himself / and she his blood into the hands of slayers / He held dominion over both life anddeath / when He suffered willingly and meekly / the malice of persecutors on earth. / Therefore it is now fitting tht we consider / the deeds of law-fast men / and say praise to the Lord for all these examples / the wisdom that His books reveal for our sakes / through His glorious works.
  • Bone-bag
  • God of beginnings
  • the fumbling of life nor tumbling of body the crumbling of delight nor the coming of death
  • Mortal-making morsel (Eve's apple)
  • shoved into the struggling world, shamefully shivering in a strange land
  • sin-wrack
  • God-guilty grief
  • heart-sorrowed and tremble-minded
  • death-powered host of devils, in gangs shorn of glory
  • denied shape
  • hour of horrid ghasts
  • malicious man-harmers
  • holy from the heights
  • help-mighty, secret cell, bliss in his breasts, bone-coffer
  • brand-hot love triumph true
  • bone-case burned, barrel was tapped that Eve brewed for Adam at the start of the world. The Enemy first poured it for that woman and afterwards she served up that bitter tankard for Adam, her own dear husband
  • That miserable drink, the deep death-cup
  • bitter bane-sickness
  • This soul house, this fated flesh-home, must be covered over in its earth-lodge, my limbs in a loamy shroud
  • mold-way
  • It is no hardship to suffer the will of the Prince, my Lord: I have no sorrow in my mind for death in this infirm hour, nor do I dread much the reaving raiders of Hell's thegns, nor can sin's first-born set any torment or frailty of body upon me. Instead, they must be frustrated in flame, seething in pain and welling in sorrow, weeping in the wrack-way.
  • Succour of Souls
  • beorg: hill, mountain, mound, barrow, grave, burial place, fortress, defense

Prologue Sources: St. Ephrem's Lament

Say, "Woe is me, alas," O soul, and weep;
For you have an orphan so young
By the blameless fathers and righteous ascetics.
Where are our fathers?
Where are the saints?
Where are the vigilant?
Where are the sober?
Where are the humble?
Where are the meek?
Where are those who vow silence?
Where are the abstinent?
Where are those who with a contrite heart
stood before the Lord in perfect prayer,
like angels of God?
They have left here to join our holy God
with their lamps brightly burning.

Woe is us!
What times are these in which we live?
Into what sea of evil have we sailed?
Our fathers have entered the harbor of life,
that they might not see the sorrows and seductions
that overcome us because of our sins.
They are crowned, yet we slumber.
We sleep and indulge in selfish pleasures.

The Calling of Guthlac

THE CALLING OF GUTHLAC

St. Nathan stood before the man
And all his warrior band
He softly spoke young Guthlac's name
As God's light wreathed his head like flame
His flesh, flayed from his fragile frame
He held in his right hand

Without complaint you fight and train
And march on end for days
Can you endure what I endured
While singing psalms of praise?

In rage and ruin, wreck and war
Your sword swings from on high
You know you have the strength to kill
But have you strength to die?  (Do you have strength to die?)

If you so ordered, all your men
Would charge the gates of Hell.
Your fellows follow your command
Can you command yourself?

You're brave enough to bear the brand (or "blade)
To terrorize the weak
Do you have courage great enough
To bow and become meek?

Understanding God

IN THE MONASTERY: GUTHLAC TRIES TO UNDERSTAND GOD

Note: This entire section need not necessarily be addressed to Guthlac, nor take place at the monastery.  It really is not important to the story/poem at all.  However, this poem has grown to become a vehicle for unrelated, yet still important, theology. 

The God who made outlandish beasts
Of sea and air and land
Leviathan and narwhal, too
The ostrich, snail and kangaroo
And this God, Guthlac, you think you
Could ever understand?

(This is almost entirely based on Chesterton's Introduction to the Book of Job, which I highly recommend.)

Wheels in Wheels and still one wheel
Who heav'n and earth have trod
Father, Son and Spirit, He
As infinite as unity
The Three-in-One and One-in-Three
And fully flesh and God.

(The paradox of the Trinity and of the Incarnation)

Our wise men he rejects as fools
Our fools He claims as His
How shall this God in words be caught?
Who thought is higher than our thought
I'd rather say what He is not
Instead of what He Is.

(This comes from random scriptures, Isaiah 55:8-9 and 1 Corinthians 1:25 and 3:19.  The last two lines refer to Apophatic/Via Negativa Theology.)  

My meat-mind can't conceive a God
Who nursed from Virgin breast
Who knelt to wash His student's feet
Who blessed the poor and cursed a tree
Forgave the whores and damned the priests
And trampled death by death.

(The first line comes from a phrase my e-friend, Silouan, used -- "meat-brains."  The last line comes from the Paschal Troparion:  "Alleluia!  Christ is risen, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life!"  The rest is mine, and I really like it.)

The Third "Temptation"

TEMPTATION 3: FEAR OF HELL

If you are servants of my King
Then fling me to the flame
Though He destroy me
Yet will I still bless His holy Name

This Flaming Flood flows from His throne
As fire and water wed
This stream that stings and salves, I'll swim
In justice sweet and grace most grim
For, I'd rather be consumed by Him
Than by your hands be fed!

My death is blest if burned before
The Fire of His face
And though a slug, I hunger for
The salt of His embrace

Like Jesus in the temple court
With tables tipped and thrown
Like when He harrowed Hades home
Or as His namesake, long ago
Like Joshua at Jericho
The walls came tumbling down

---------

Where will you go to flee His face
Or from His presence fly?
In highest heaven, He is there
Or if in hell you lie.

Though you may take the wings of dawn
Or dwell in deepest waves
If you believe that darkest night
Shall cover all your sins from sight
For darkness cannot hide from Light
The nighttime shines as day

For this I know, that death nor life
Nor demon power nor sword
Nor that which was nor which will be
Nor height, nor depth, nor man, nor beast
Can cleave us from the love we see
In Jesus Christ our Lord

Temptation 2: Despair Over the Sin of Others

TEMPTATION 2: DESPAIR OVER THE SIN OF OTHERS

So taking Guthlac to the skies
They bade him look below
"See women who are naught but whores
And plundering, raping men in wars
Vile actions which you should deplore"
And Guthlac answered, "So?"

"These are baptized! The chrism-cross
They on their heads anoint!
Yet, see them; prideful, angry, vain,
vengeful, vicious kin of Cain ..."
Guthlac said, "Wait, now ... once again
I'm lost, boys. What's your point?"

"Your brother monks are steeped in sin
In loathsome lust and lies
They break their vows to steal a kiss
Forbidden fruit and wanton bliss..."
And Guthlac said, "Did you think this
was Eden? Paradise?"

"The Church is not a hall of saints
All pure and bright and fair.
We come here, bent and broken men
Diseased by death and stained by sin
The Church is where the cure begins (or "The Cure of souls our cure begins")
This is intensive care"

Your lies are formed from twisted truth  (Your words are wise in woven lies)
From bent tales told in part
For faithless Peter keeps the keys
There's Paul the saint, of sinners chief
And David; killer, cheater, thief;
Was after God's own heart.

The Worker will complete His work
So with one voice we say
Both warrior kin and monk en-caved
En-castled king and man enslaved
From baptized babe to saints en-graved
"We have been saved, are being saved,
And will be saved one day."

The First "Temptation"

TEMPTATION 1: BODILY HARM

The demons laughed uncertainly
At Guthlac, man of woes
A brittle bone-bag, bent and thin
A rack of ribs, a skein of skin
Still flashing a defiant grin
Against his hell-born foes

The battle-joy had gripped him then
Remembering old wars
And although fresh from saying mass
Said, "Let's go, if you've got the brass.
Laid up down here upon my ass
By God, I'll still kick yours."

"I'm through with all your threats of harm,
Foul creature of the curse
You think that you are so damned tough
My grandma treated me more rough
Let's go, then, if you're hard enough
I've beat myself up worse."

The demon, screaming, grabbed the man
By insults thus enraged
And though by blows on blows increased
At the hate-filled hands of the pride-born beast
Still, the laughing saint never stalled nor ceased
From singing songs of praise.

The hellion, having done his worst
Then threw him on the floor
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
Good Guthlac, bruised and broken, said,
"Nice try!  Do you have more?"
(or "Nice try! You got some more?")
(or "Please sir, can I have more?")

Alternate version of the previous stanza:

The hellion, having done his worst
The threw him in his den
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
With childlike glee, good Guthlac said,
"That's fun! Let's go again!"

(or "Good Guthlac, bruised and broken said,
Yippe! Let's go again!")

The Whole Poem So Far

So (or Hwaet), let us now praise famous men
The fathers of our faith
The saints who from their labours rest
Now full of Truth and Grace

(This section, and the two that follow, are mostly based on Ecclesiasticus 44.  Also, I have included a send-up to the hymn "For All the Saints."  As an aside, I highly recommend the Indelible Grace rendering of the hymn.  The "truth and grace" line is meant to show that we are to "become by grace what Christ is by nature" as St. Athanasius says in "On the Incarnation.")

The Lord, by them, great glory wrought
Through prophet, priest and king
Through virgin pure and martyr meek
The poor in spirit, silent, weak,
Through Roman, Hebrew, Celt and Greek
And golden-tongues that sing.

And some, there be, that we forget
As though they'd never been
Yet, God remembers each one still
And still, they are our kin.

(This stanza comes from Ecclesiasticus 44 as well, but is unnecessary.) 

They filled the earth with holiness
As bread is filled with leaven
As the Word of God once, with His birth
In weakness laid aside His worth
Thus dragging heaven down to earth
And earth, with Him, to heaven.

(This sets the theme for the whole poem.  Following the kenotic ... if that's a word ..., self-emptying Way of Christ is how we become Christians and, thus, saints.  But this path is not about acting holy or even about becoming holy.  It's about transformation participating in the transformation of the world, the redemption of the world.  Guthlac doesn't just become holy.  He makes the world around him holy.)


O! Ubi sunt sancti Dei
The blessed by God who bless
The soldiers of the risen Son
Who waged the war of faith and won (or fought the fight of faith)
Is there not left on earth just one?
O! Sancte, ubi es?

(This section is based on the excellent and somewhat ironic lament of St. Ephrem the Syrian.) 

Though ornery orphans here, behold!
Their cloud surrounds us still
From prayers raised in Ninian's cave
To Mary Hazel's holy grave
And Brendan's mass at Whale-on-wave
All following God's will

(The second line is a reference to Hebrews 12:1.   When I went to Scotland, I was blessed to visit St. Ninian's Cave.  It made an impression on me.  St. Mary Hazel of Sleep Hollow is from the Celtic Catholic Church.  The line regarding St. Brendan references his celebration of the Eucharist on the back of a whale and the penchant for English towns to be named "Something-on-Something".  English nerd humour.  It doesn't get more obscure than that.)

The holy ones and watchers come
As we, on Christ, are fed
Iona's monks the dead-paths race
While six-winged seraphs hide their face
And singing, "Sanctus," join in praise
When God becomes the bread.

The throne of God descends to earth
The temple veil is furled
All heav'n surrounds us as we sup
Prostrate before the holy cup
With wine and blood and God filled up
The center of the world



-------------------------------------------------


GUTHLAC'S BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE



In the rent remains of the Roman reign


Alone and left without the will
Their weakened world to ward
Broken Britons bereft of aid
Fell prey to every foreign raid
The angle of the Anglish blade
And steel of Saxon sword
(The Saxon saex and sword)


Between the eve of Arthur's dream
And Alfred's English morn
In Mercia's marshy borderland
Beneath a sign, the blood-red hand
Good Guthlac there was born




7th c.


Wulfere was king (first Christian convert)







THE CALLING OF GUTHLAC

St. Nathan stood before the man
.......................
He softly spoke young Guthlac's name
As God's light wreathed his head like flame
His flesh, flayed from his fragile frame
He held in his right hand

...........
Can you endure what I endured
While singing psalms of joy?

In rage and ruin, wreck and war
Your sword swings from on high
You know you're strong enough to kill
Do you have strength to die?

If you so ordered, all your men
Would charge the gates of Hell.
Your fellows follow (or "thanes submit to") your command
Can you command yourself?

You're brave enough to bear the brand (or "blade)
To terrorize the weak
Do you have courage great enough
To bow and become meek?



--------------------------------------------


IN THE MONASTERY: GUTHLAC TRIES TO UNDERSTAND GOD

Note: This entire section need not necessarily be addressed to Guthlac, nor take place at the monastery.  It really is not important to the story/poem at all.  However, this poem has grown to become a vehicle for unrelated, yet still important, theology.  

The God who made outlandish beasts
Of sea and air and land
Leviathan and narwhal, too
The ostrich, snail and kangaroo
And this God, Guthlac, you think you
Could ever understand?

(This is almost entirely based on Chesterton's Introduction to the Book of Job, which I highly recommend.) 

Wheels in Wheels and still one wheel
Who heav'n and earth have trod
Father, Son and Spirit, He
As infinite as unity
The Three-in-One and One-in-Three
And fully flesh and God.

(The paradox of the Trinity and of the Incarnation) 

Our wise men he rejects as fools
Our fools He claims as His
How shall this God in words be caught?
Who thought is higher than our thought
I'd rather say what He is not
Instead of what He Is.

(This comes from random scriptures, Isaiah 55:8-9 and 1 Corinthians 1:25 and 3:19.  The last two lines refer to Apophatic/Via Negativa Theology.)   

My meat-mind can't conceive a God
Who nursed from Virgin breast
Who knelt to wash His student's feet
Who blessed the poor and cursed a tree
Forgave the whores and damned the priests
And trampled death by death.

(The first line comes from a phrase my e-friend, Silouan, used -- "meat-brains."  The last line comes from the Paschal Troparion:  "Alleluia!  Christ is risen, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life!"  The rest is mine, and I really like it.)



-----------------------------------------------


GUTHLAC'S MISSION: RETAKE CROWLAND


Secure and sain this savage waste
Into your care 'tis giv'n
For though the earth is sick with sin
It is the Lord's, and all therin
As it was once, make once again
A colony of heav'n


-
- ... catacomb
We know the holy goal you crave
These phantom fens to sain and save
By why this plundered, pagan grave
Should be our (something) home




For Christ, a barrow-plunderer
And grave-robber is Lord
He snatches us from death's decay
And steals our treasured sin away
He'll carry off our souls one day
His hallowed, heavenly hoard.




- battle plan = weak enough to be like Christ through asceticism 


......
.....
His broken body for your meat
His blood poured out for you to drink
A meal we hardly dare to eat
And is that not enough?


Recall what Christ once did for you
To heal you, hale and whole
So take this beorg, by wrack-kin trekked
By wrathful, writhing, wild-wraith wrecked
And as your soul, by sin-stain specked
Was saved, so save this soil. 


As the Word once wore this world
To harrow and to heal
That man, the fallen, half-formed fake
By grace, His nature might partake
Rebuild this beorg, reform, remake,
Revive and make it real




--------------------------------------------------------------


TEMPTATION 1: BODILY HARM

The demons laughed uncertainly
At Guthlac, man of woes
A brittle bone-bag, bent and thin
A rack of ribs, a skein of skin
Still flashing a defiant grin
Against his hell-born foes

The battle-joy had gripped him then
Remembering old wars
And although fresh from saying mass
Said, "Let's go, if you've got the brass.
Laid up down here upon my ass
By God, I'll still kick yours."

"I'm through with all your threats of harm,
Foul creature of the curse
You think that you are so damned tough
My grandma treated me more rough
Let's go, then, if you're hard enough
I've beat myself up worse."

The demon, screaming, grabbed the man
By insults thus enraged
And though by blows on blows increased
At the hate-filled hands of the pride-born beast
Still, the laughing saint never stalled nor ceased
From singing songs of praise.

The hellion, having done his worst
Then threw him on the floor
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
Good Guthlac, bruised and broken, said,
"Nice try!  Do you have more?"
(or "Nice try! You got some more?")
(or "Please sir, can I have more?")

Alternate version of the previous stanza:

The hellion, having done his worst
The threw him in his den
Yet torn and trembling, rent and red
And raising battered, bloody head
With childlike glee, good Guthlac said,
"That's fun! Let's go again!"

(or "Good Guthlac, bruised and broken said,
Yippe! Let's go again!")



--------------------------------------


TEMPTATION 2: DESPAIR OVER THE SIN OF OTHERS

So taking Guthlac to the skies
They bade him look below
"See women who are naught but whores
And plundering, raping men in wars
Vile actions which you should deplore"
And Guthlac answered, "So?"

"These are baptized! The chrism-cross
They on their heads anoint!
Yet, see them; prideful, angry, vain,
vengeful, vicious kin of Cain ..."
Guthlac said, "Wait, now ... once again
I'm lost, boys. What's your point?"

"Your brother monks are steeped in sin
In loathsome lust and lies
They break their vows to steal a kiss
Forbidden fruit and wanton bliss..."
"I'm sorry, boys, did you think this
was Eden? Paradise?"

"The Church is not a hall of saints
All pure and bright and fair.
We come here, bent and broken men
Diseased by death and stained by sin
The Church is where the cure begins (or "The Cure of souls our cure begins")
This is intensive care"

Your lies are formed from twisted truth
From bent tales told in part
For faithless Peter keeps the keys
There's Paul the saint, of sinners chief
And David; killer, cheater, thief;
Was after God's own heart.

The Worker will complete His work
His children chant this hymn (or "So with one voice we say")
Both warrior kin and monk en-caved
En-castled king and man enslaved
From baptized babe to saints en-graved
"We have been saved, are being saved,
and will be saved by Him." (or "And will be saved one day.")



-----------------------------------------------------


TEMPTATION 3: FEAR OF HELL

If you are servants of my King
Then fling me to the flame
Though He destroy me
Yet will I still bless His holy Name

This Flaming Flood flows from His throne
As fire and water wed
This stream that stings and salves, I'll swim
In justice sweet and grace most grim
For, I'd rather be consumed by Him
Than by your hands be fed!

My death is sweet if burned before
The Fire of His face
And though a slug, I hunger for
The salt of His embrace



-----------------------------------


St. Bartholomew gives Guthlac the scourge, at which point Guthlac begins wildly running about Crowland, like Quixote at the windmills, chasing away the demons that only he can see.

The brethren, baffled, could not find
The foe at which he flailed
His scouring scourge fell from on high
And "Kyrie!" his battle-cry
The demons he assailed

A mad berserker's crazed attack
As feral, fierce and wild
Yet holy joy was in his face
As the running, leaping saint gave chase
A bizzare ballet, a perplexing race
As giddy as a child

Like Jesus in the temple court
With tables tipped and thrown
......
.......
And just as once in Jericho (or "like Joshua at Jericho")
The walls came tumb'ling down




NEED TO INCLUDE:


Exsurgat Deus
Et dissipentur inimici eius
Et fugiant qui oderunt
Eum a facie eius


Let God arise
And let his enemies be scattered
Let them that hate him
Flee before his face




Let God arise, and scattered
let all his en’mies be;
And let all those that do him hate
before his presence flee.



---------------------------------------------


The Sovereign God is all they know
Omnipotent above
So desperate, they, to make Him King
God-in-control of everything
(or "God is in control," they sing)
Conductor, pulling every string
That He forgets He's Love

Yes, Christ is King! He reigns in ways
We cannot comprehend
He makes throne of maiden-womb
A manger, cross and stone-sealed tomb
And, bringing light to Sheol's gloom,
He reigns and brings death's end.



--------------------------------------------------


THE DEATH OF GUTHLAC



Heed the words, the life of Christ
And ask not how or why
Death conquers when you try to live (win)
Yet loses when you die.

The Charge to Guthlac

GUTHLAC'S MISSION: RETAKE CROWLAND

Secure and sain this savage waste
Into your care 'tis giv'n
For though the earth is sick with sin
It is the Lord's, and all therin
As it was once, make once again
A colony of heav'n

-
- ... catacomb
We know the holy goal you crave
These phantom fens to sain and save
By why this plundered, pagan grave
Should be our (something) home


For Christ, a barrow-plunderer
And grave-robber is Lord
He snatches us from death's decay
And steals our treasured sin away
He'll carry off our souls one day
His hallowed, heavenly hoard.


- battle plan = weak enough to be like Christ through asceticism

......
.....
His broken body for your meat
His blood poured out for you to drink
A meal we hardly dare to eat
And is that not enough?

Recall what Christ once did for you
To heal you, hale and whole
So take this beorg, by wrack-kin trekked
By wrathful, writhing, wild-wraith wrecked
And as your soul, by sin-stain specked
Was saved, so save this soil.

As the Word once wore this world
To harrow and to heal
That man, the fallen, half-formed fake
By grace, His nature might partake
Rebuild this beorg, reform, remake,
Revive and make it real