Sunday, May 06, 2007

On The Great Schism


I found this at the Fish Eaters website almost two years go. It is from a book called the Penguin Book of Greek Verse, and was originally written in Greek. This is a transliteration by one of the members there; the author of the poem was never known.



God rings the bells, the earth rings the bells, the sky rings the bells,
and Santa Sophia, the great church, rings the bells:
four hundred sounding-boards and sixty-two bells,
a priest for each bell and a deacon for each priest.


To the left the Emperor was chanting, to the right the Patriarch,
and from the volume of the chant, the pillars were shaking.
As they were about to sing the hymn of the Cherubim,
And the Emperor was about to appear,
A voice came to them from heaven, from the mouth of the Archangel:


"Stop the Cherubic hymn, and let the holy elements bow in mourning.
The priests must take the sacred vessels away, and you candles must be extinguished,
for it is the will of God that the City fall to the Turks.


But send a message to the West, asking for three ships to come,
one to take the Cross away, another the Holy Bible,
The third, the best of the three, our Holy Altar,
lest the dogs seize it from us and defile it."


The Virgin was distressed, and the holy icons wept.
"Hush, Lady, do not weep so profusely;
After years and after centuries they will be yours again."

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