Friday 30 July 2010

Not about St Olaf

Unfortunately for a person whose plan for the summer was “write as much as possible”, I’m finding myself largely unable to write anything – academic, fiction, or even blog posts. I couldn’t even muster up anything intelligent to say yesterday about St Olaf of Norway (whose feast day it was) although he's interesting to me for any number of reasons: chiefly, being a Scandinavian saint who was culted in medieval England (there are several churches named after him, including a good number in London), being both an ex-Viking and a royal saint, and being one of the opponents whom awesome badass Cnut comprehensively routed on the way to acquiring his empire. Oh well; perhaps another time.

Instead, here's a picture of a medieval priest. It's from the church of Brookland in Kent, which also has an interesting thirteenth-century wall painting of the murder of Thomas Becket and an unusual Norman font, but I'll post about those when I can put complete sentences together.

I think this is a priest rather than a monk, but to be honest I'm not sure; my knowledge of medieval vestments is limited...

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Just Pretty

Medieval floor tiles in the parish church of Muchelney, Somerset.

The tiles were moved to the church from the nearby abbey, which is now in ruins, and laid in the chancel.

Light from the stained-glass window is just a bonus, of course.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

A Rather Amazing Cloud...

This isn't funny so much as it's just cool. Matthew Paris, who included this story in his Chronica Majora under the year 1254, was a monk of St Alban's himself, so he probably heard the story from the monks who witnessed it.

"About midnight of the day of our Lord's circumcision [January 1], the moon being eight days old, and the firmament studded with stars, and the air completely calm, there appeared in the sky, wonderful to relate, the form of a large ship, well-shaped, and of remarkable design and colour. This apparition was seen by some monks of St. Alban's, staying at St. Amphibalus [a nearby shrine] to celebrate the festival, who were looking out to see by the stars if it was the hour for chanting matins, and they at once called together all their friends and followers who were in the house to see the wonderful apparition. The vessel appeared for a long time, as if it were painted, and really built with planks; but at length it began by degrees to dissolve and disappear, wherefore it was believed to have been a cloud, but a wonderful and extraordinary one."

Later he observes "the apparition was believed at the time to be a sign of coming tempestous weather, and was followed by such a deadly disease among sheep and wild beasts, that the sheepfolds were void of sheep, and the forests of wild beasts".

Monday 26 July 2010


More Rupert Brooke. I'm not sure he quite knows what he's doing in this poem, especially the second verse, but it's rather sweet all the same.


“Oh! Love,” they said, “is King of Kings,
And Triumph is his crown.
Earth fades in flame before his wings,
And Sun and Moon bow down.”—
But that, I knew, would never do;
And Heaven is all too high.
So whenever I meet a Queen, I said,
I will not catch her eye.

“Oh! Love,” they said, and “Love,” they said,
“The gift of Love is this;
A crown of thorns about thy head,
And vinegar to thy kiss!”—
But Tragedy is not for me;
And I’m content to be gay.
So whenever I spied a Tragic Lady,
I went another way.

And so I never feared to see
You wander down the street,
Or come across the fields to me
On ordinary feet.
For what they’d never told me of,
And what I never knew;
It was that all the time, my love,
Love would be merely you.

Monday 19 July 2010

And you thought Gregorian chant was controversial now...

An event which took place in the year 1083, as told by the chronicler Roger of Hoveden:

'A disgraceful quarrel took place between the monks, and Turstin, the abbot, of Glastonbury, a man unworthy to be named, and possessed of no prudence... Among other doings, in his folly, he treated the Gregorian chant with contempt, and attempted to compel the monks to leave it off, and learn the chant of one William, of Pesehamp, and sing it; this they took to heart, because they had, both in this particular and in the other offices of the church, grown used to the practices of the Roman Church.

Upon a certain day, when they did not expect it, he rushed into the chapter-house, with an armed body of soldiers, and pursued the monks, who in their extreme terror had fled into the church, even to the altar; and there the soldiers, piercing the crosses, and images, and shrines of the Saints with darts and arrows, even went so far as to slay one monk while embracing the holy altar, who fell dead pierced with a spear: another also fell at the verge of the altar, transfixed with arrows; on which, being compelled by necessity, the monks stoutly defended themselves with the benches and candlesticks belonging to the church, and, though grievously wounded, succeeded in driving all the soldiers beyond the choir. The result was, that two of the monks were killed and fourteen wounded.'

Saturday 17 July 2010

St Kenelm and 'Crabbing the Parson'

Kenelm and King Offa (BL Cotton MS Claudius D VI, f.7)

The story of the Anglo-Saxon saint Cynehelm, better known as St Kenelm, is (if any part of it is true) a sad one. According to legend, he was the son of an eighth-century king of Mercia who was murdered as a child by his older sister, who wanted to inherit the kingdom in his place. There are a good number of murdered royal princes with similar stories from the early Anglo-Saxon period - David Rollason (in ‘The cults of murdered royal saints in Anglo-Saxon England’, Anglo-Saxon England 11 (1983), 1-22) lists no fewer than twelve - but Kenelm achieved more fame than most; he was a well-known saint in the later Middle Ages, and the place of his burial, Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, was a popular site of pilgrimage.

Even by the standards of medieval hagiography, Kenelm's is a particularly souped-up saint's legend, where history and saint's life blend into fairy tale. As the South English Legendary tells it, the child Kenelm, 'King of the Mark' (i.e. Mercia) and pious at just seven years old, is murdered by a treacherous servant at the behest of his wicked sister. His body is hidden but a heavenly dove informs the Pope in Rome about Kenelm's murder, by dropping a scroll on the altar where he is saying Mass; the scroll is inconveniently in English, but the Pope finds someone to translate it and learns that it says 'In Clent, Cowbach, Kenelm the king's son lies under a thorn, his head cut off.' He sends messengers to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who investigates. The body of Kenelm is found where the scroll said it would be, his hidden grave guarded by a faithful cow (yes, really - hence 'Cowbach'! I suppose it's just a somewhat less dignified version of St Edmund's wolf). The body is taken to Winchcombe, and when the wicked sister sees it coming she tries to curse it by reading from her Psalter - but her eyes fall out of her head and she dies.  According to the South English Legendary, this Psalter was kept at Winchcombe, where any pilgrim who cared to see it could ascertain the truth of the story. That must have been quite the tourist attraction...

So that's the legend of Kenelm. He's mentioned by Chaucer in the Nun's Priest's Tale, because the prince famously had a dream warning him of his impending death - so Kenelm's story is cited as an example to prove that one ought to pay attention to dreams. Chaucer's learned cockerel Chaunticleer tells his wife "By God! I hadde levere than my sherte / That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I!" So if you take your reading suggestions from pompous, self-deluding chickens, here it is.

For more on Kenelm and his legend, see this excellent post.

On a more frivolous note, this was the bit of lore associated with Kenelm which caught my eye:

For many years, villagers [at Kenelstowe in Worcestershire] celebrated St Cynehelm's Day (July 17) with a village fair and the ancient custom of "crabbing the parson" - bombarding the unfortunate cleric with a volley of crab apples.

Well, I was intrigued. Helpful Google led me to a charming book called The Rambler in Worcestershire, or, Stray Notes on Churches and Congregations, by a Mr John Noake, published in 1848. Mr Noake provides the following insight into 'crabbing the parson':

The last clergyman but one who was subjected to this process was a somewhat eccentric gentleman named Lee. He had been chaplain to a man-of-war, and was a jovial old fellow in his way, who could enter into the spirit of the thing. My informant well recollects the worthy divine, after partaking of dinner at the solitary house near the church, quietly quitting the table when the time for performing the service drew nigh, reconnoitring the angles of the building, and each "buttress and coign of vantage" behind which it was reasonable to suppose the enemy would be posted, and watching for a favourable opportunity, he would start forth at his best walking pace (he scorned to run) to reach the church. Around him, thick and fast, fell from ready hands a shower of crabs, not a few telling with fearful emphasis on his burly person, amid the intense merriment of the rustic assailants; but the distance is small; he reaches the old porch, and the storm is over.
Another informant, a man of Clent, states that he has seen the late incumbent, the Rev. John Todd, frequently run the gauntlet, and that on one occasion there were two sacks of crabs, each containing at least three bushels, emptied in the church field, besides large store of other missiles provided by other parties; and it also appears that some of the more wanton not unfrequently threw sticks, stakes, &c., which probably led to the suppression of the practice.

The custom of crabbing the parson is said to have arisen on this wise. "Long, long ago," an incumbent of Frankley, to which St. Kenelm's was attached, was accustomed, through horrid, deep-rutted, miry roads, occasionally to wend his way to the sequestered depository of the remains of the murdered Saint King, to perform divine service. It was his wont to carry creature comforts with him, which he discussed at a lone farmhouse near the scene of his pastoral duties. On one occasion, whether the pastor's wallet was badly furnished, or his stomach more than usually keen, tradition sayeth not, but having eat up his own provision, he was tempted (after he had donned his sacerdotal habit, and in the absence of the good dame) to pry into the secrets of a huge pot in which was simmering the savoury dinner the lady had provided for her household; among the rest, dumplings formed no inconsiderable portion of the contents; whether they were Norfolk or apple dumplings is not mentioned, but the story runs that our parson poached sundry of them, hissing hot, from the cauldron, and hearing the footsteps of his hostess, he, with great dexterity, deposited them in the ample sleeves of his surplice; she, however, was wide awake to her loss, and closely following the parson to the church, by her presence prevented him from disposing of them, and to avoid her accusation ("a guilty conscience needs no accuser") he forthwith entered the reading desk and began to read the service, John Clerk beneath making the responses. Ere long a dumpling slips out of the parson's sleeve, and falls plump on sleek John's head; he looks up with astonishment, but having ascertained that his reverence is not labouring under the effects of an emetic ("vomits" they called them in those days), John took the matter in good part, and proceeded with the service; by and bye, however, John's pate receives a second visitation, to which he, with upturned eyes and ready tongue, responded, "Two can play at that, master!" and suiting the action to the word, he forthwith began pelting the parson with crabs, a store of which he had gathered, intending to take them home in his pocket to foment the sprained leg of his jade of a horse; and so well did the clerk play his part that the parson soon decamped, amid the jeers of the old dame, and the laughter of the few persons who were in attendance; and in commemoration of this event (so saith the legend), "crabbing the parson" has been practised on the wake Sunday from that time till a very recent period.

Monday 12 July 2010

Disadvantages of Dreams

The chronicler Roger of Wendover, in the middle of a perfectly normal account of King Stephen's perambulations around his kingdom installing abbots and so on, adds:

In this year [1151] it was revealed to a certain man in a dream that if he cut off his hands and feet, he would secure his eternal salvation; he accordingly did so, and immediately afterwards expired.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Twelfth-Century Insults

When I tell someone that at the moment I'm mostly reading medieval monastic chronicles, they usually pull a sympathetic face. It's true that these things can be pretty dry. But they can also be unintentionally hilarious: for instance, I've just been reading a chronicle which is mostly taken up with an account of the life of St Anselm, written by a monk named Eadmer who knew him when he was Archbishop of Canterbury. Despite Eadmer's obvious love and respect for Anselm, you would never guess from reading this chronicle that the man was a philosopher (the words 'ontological argument' are nowhere to be found...). As far as Eadmer was concerned, the burning issue of Anselm's life was proving the supremacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the Archbishop of York. Oh, and the very important issue of men's hairstyles. This is how he concludes his chronicle, sadly observing that no one listened to Anselm's wisdom:

"The men with long hair were, as we very well know, excommunicated by Father Anselm and banished from the doors of holy Church; yet now they so abound and so boastingly pride themselves on the shameful girlish length of their locks that anyone who is not long-haired is branded with some opprobrious name, called ‘country bumpkin’ or ‘priest'."

'Priest' - the worst insult you could give an Englishman in 1110?

Monday 5 July 2010

Psalm 27: Light

One of the most comforting of the psalms, appointed in the Book of Common Prayer for the fifth evening of the month. The first line is the source of the motto of the University of Oxford: Dominus illuminatio mea, the Lord is my light.

The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom then shall I fear : the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh : they stumbled and fell.

Though an host of men were laid against me, yet shall not my heart be afraid : and though there rose up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require : even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his tabernacle : yea, in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me, and set me up upon a rock of stone.

And now shall he lift up mine head : above mine enemies round about me.

Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness : I will sing, and speak praises unto the Lord.

Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry unto thee : have mercy upon me, and hear me.

My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face : Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

O hide not thou thy face from me : nor cast thy servant away in displeasure.

Thou hast been my succour : leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me : the Lord taketh me up.

Teach me thy way, O Lord : and lead me in the right way, because of mine enemies.

Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries : for there are false witnesses risen up against me, and such as speak wrong.

I should utterly have fainted : but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

O tarry thou the Lord's leisure : be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart ; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.

Sunday 4 July 2010

In a valley of restless mind: Quia amore langueo

Here's a pretty astonishing medieval lyric. The refrain 'quia amore langueo', which means 'because I languish for love', comes from the Song of Songs. It's quite long; but the last two verses are the best!

In a valey of this restles mynde,
I soughte in mounteyne and in mede,
Trustynge a trewelove for to fynde.
Upon an hil than Y took hede:
A voice Y herde, and neer Y yede,
In huge dolour complaynynge tho:
"Se, dere Soule, how my sidis blede,
Quia amore langueo."

[In a valley of this restless mind, I sought in mountain and in meadow, hoping to find a true-love (a flower, but also love itself). Upon a hill I then took notice; I heard a voice - and I drew closer - lamenting in great sorrow: "See, dear Soul, how my sides bleed, because I languish for love."]

Upon this hil Y fond a tree,
Undir the tree a man sittynge,
From heed to foot woundid was he,
His herte blood Y sigh bledinge:
A semeli man to ben a king,
A graciouse face to loken unto.
I askide whi he had peynynge,
He seide, "Quia amore langueo.

[Upon this hill I found a tree, under the tree a man sitting; from head to foot wounded was he, and I saw his heart's blood bleeding. He was a man fit to be a king, with a gracious face to look at. I asked why he was suffering; he said, "Because I languish for love."]

"I am Truelove that fals was nevere.
My sistyr, mannis soule, Y loved hir thus:
Bicause we wolde in no wise discevere,
I lefte my kyngdom glorious.
I purveide for hir a paleis precious;
Sche fleyth; Y folowe. Y soughte hir so,
I suffride this peyne piteuous,
Quia amore langueo.

["I am True-love who never was false. My sister, man's soul, I loved thus: because we would not in any way be parted, I left my glorious kingdom, I prepared for her a precious palace. She flees; I follow; I sought her in such a way that I came to suffer this terrible pain, because I languish for love.]

"My fair spouse and my love bright,
I saved hir fro betynge, and sche hath me bet!
I clothid hir in grace and hevenli light,
This bloodi scherte sche hath on me sette!
For longynge of love yit wolde Y not lette —
Swete strokis are these, lo!
I have loved hir evere, as Y hir het,
Quia amore langueo.

["My fair spouse and my love bright! I saved her from beating, and she has beaten me. I clothed her in grace and heavenly light; she set this bloody shirt upon me. For longing of love I will not cease - these are sweet strokes, lo! I have loved her always, as I promised her, because I languish for love.]

"I crowned hir with blis, and sche me with thorn;
I ledde hir to chaumbir, and sche me to die;
I broughte hir to worschipe, and sche me to scorn;
I dide hir reverence, and she me vilonye.
To love that loveth is no maistrie;
Hir hate made nevere my love hir foo.
Axe me no questioun whi —
Quia amore langueo.

["I crowned her with bliss, and she crowned me with thorns; I led her to a chamber, and she led me to die. I brought her to worship, and she brought me to scorn; I did her worship, and she did me villainy. To love one who loves you is no hard task; her hate never made my love her foe. Do not ask me questions why; because I languish for love.]

"Loke unto myn hondis, man:
These gloves were yove me whan Y hir soughte.
Thei ben not white, but rede and wan,
Onbroudrid with blood. My spouse hem broughte.
Thei wole not of; Y loose hem noughte.
I wowe hir with hem whereevere sche go —
These hondis for hir so freendli foughte,
Quia amore langueo.

["Look at my hands, man: these gloves were given me when I sought her. They are not white, but red and pale, embroidered with blood. My spouse brought them. They cannot come off; I will not undo them. I woo her with them wherever she may go. These hands fought for her so lovingly, because I languish for love.]

"Merveille noughte, man, though Y sitte stille:
Se, love hath schod me wondir streite,
Boclid my feet, as was hir wille,
With scharp naile, lo! Thou maiste waitenails;
In my love was nevere desaite.
Alle myn humours Y have opened hir to,
There my bodi hath maad hir hertis baite,
Quia amore langueo.

["Marvel not, man, though I sit still: see, love has shod me very tightly, and buckled my feet, by her choice, with sharp nails, look! You may know by these nails, there was never any deceit in my love. I have opened all my blood to her and made my body her heart's bait, because I languish for love.]

"In my side Y have made hir neste.
Loke in: how weet a wounde is heere!
This is hir chaumbir. Heere schal sche reste,
That sche and Y may slepe in fere.
Heere may she waische if ony filthe were;
Heere is sete for al hir woo.
Come whanne sche wole, sche schal have chere,
Quia amore langueo.

["In my side I have made her nest. Look in, how wet a wound is here! This is her chamber; here she shall rest, and she and I shall sleep in company. Here she may wash away anything that befouls her; here is shelter for all her sorrow. Come whenever she will, she shall have good cheer, because I languish for love.]

"I wole abide til sche be redy,
I wole hir sue if sche seie nay;
If sche be richilees, Y wole be gredi,
And if sche be daungerus, Y wole hir praie.
If sche wepe, than hide Y ne may —
Myn armes her highed to clippe hir me to:
Crie oonys! Y come. Now, Soule, asay!
Quia amore langueo.

["I will wait until she be ready; I will seek her if she say nay. If she be careless, I will be insistent; if she be disdainful, I will beseech her. If she weep, then I cannot conceal myself - my arms are outstretched to clasp her to me. Cry once, I come! Now, soul, try me! Because I languish for love.]

"I sitte on this hil for to se fer,
I loke into the valey my spouse to se:
Now renneth sche awayward, yit come sche me neer,
For out of my sighte may sche not be.
Summe wayte hir prai to make hir to flee,
I renne bifore and fleme hir foo.
Returne, my spouse, ayen to me!
Quia amore langueo.

["I sit on this hill to see far: I look into the valley to see my spouse. Now she runs away, now she comes closer, but she cannot be out of my sight. Some others lurk to make her their prey, to make her flee to them, but I run before them and drive away her foes. Return, my spouse, again to me! Because I languish for love.]

"Fair love, lete us go pleye!
Applis ben ripe in my gardayne;
I schal thee clothe in a newe aray,
Thi mete schal be mylk, hony, and wiyn.
Fair love, lete us go digne;
Thi sustynaunce is in my crippe, lo!
Tarie thou not, my fair spouse myne!
Quia amore langueo.

["Fair love, let us go play: apples are ripe in my garden. I shall clothe thee in new array, thy food shall be milk, honey, and wine. Fair love, let us go dine; thy sustenance is in my bag, lo! Tarry not, my own fair spouse, because I languish for love.]

"Iff thou be foul, Y schal thee make clene,
If thou be siik, Y schal thee hele;
If thou moorne ought, Y schal thee meene.
Whi wolt thou not, fair love, with me dele?
Foundist thou evere love so leel?
What woldist thou, spouse, that Y schulde do?
I may not unkyndeli thee appele,
Quia amore langueo.

["If thou be dirty, I shall make thee clean; if thou be sick, I shall heal thee. If thou mourn for anything, I shall comfort thee. Why wilt thou not, fair love, have dealings with me? Hast thou ever found such loyal love? What wouldest thou, spouse, that I should do? I cannot accuse thee of unkindness, because I languish for love.]

"What schal Y do with my fair spouse
But abide hir, of my gentilnes,
Til that sche loke out of hir house
Of fleischli affeccioun? Love myn sche is!
Hir bed is maade, hir bolstir is blis;
Hir chaumbir is chosen, is ther non moo.
Loke out on me at the wyndow of kyndenes,
Quia amore langueo.

["What shall I do with my fair spouse, but wait for her, in my courtesy, until she look out of her house of fleshly affecton? She is my love! Her bed is made, her pillow is prepared in bliss, her chamber is chosen - there is none other such. Look out on me at the window of kindness, because I languish for love.]

"My love is in hir chaumbir. Holde youre pees!
Make ye no noise, but lete hir slepe.
My babe Y wolde not were in disese;
I may not heere my dere child wepe;
With my pap Y schal hir kepe.
Ne merveille ye not though Y tende hir to:
This hole in my side had nevere be so depe,
But Quia amore langueo.

["My love is in her chamber, hold your peace! Make ye no noise, but let her sleep. I would not have my babe troubled; I cannot hear my dear child weep. With my breast I shall feed her. Do not marvel that I tend to her so! This hole in my side would never have been so deep, but that I languish for love.]

"Longe thou for love nevere so high,
My love is more than thin may be:
Thou wepist, thou gladist, Y sitte thee bi,
Yit woldist thou oonys, leef, loke unto me?
Schulde I alwey fede thee
With children mete? Nay, love, not so! —
I wole preve thi love with adversitè,
Quia amore langueo.

["Long thou for love never so much, my love is more than thine can be. Thou weepest, thou rejoicest, I sit beside thee; but wouldest thou once, love, look to me? Should I always feed thee with children's food? No, love, it cannot be so! I wish to test thy love through adversity, because I languish for love.]

"Wexe not wery, myn owne wiif.
What mede is it to lyve evere in coumfort?
In tribulacioun I regne moore riif,
Oftetymes, than in disport —
In wele and in woo Y am ay to supporte!
Than, dere Soule, go not me fro!
Thi meede is markid whan thou art mort,
Quia amore langueo."

["Wax not weary, my own wife; what reward is there to live in comfort for ever? In tribulation I often reign more fully than in pleasure. In weal and woe I am ever there to help! Then, dear soul, do not go from me. Thy reward is fixed after thy death, because I languish for love.]

Friday 2 July 2010

St Martin's Summer

Another Robert Louis Stevenson gem. This is massively unseasonal, since 'St Martin's summer' is what is otherwise referred to as an 'Indian Summer', the unexpected last days of warmth in October/November (Martinmas being November 11th, if I remember rightly). But it's only a metaphor, you know! (See what I've learned from six years studying English literature).

And anyway, this is just lovely.

St Martin's Summer

As swallows turning backward
When half-way o'er the sea,
At one word's trumpet summons
They came again to me -
The hopes I had forgotten
Came back again to me.

I know not which to credit,
O lady of my heart!
Your eyes that bade me linger,
Your words that bade us part -
I know not which to credit,
My reason or my heart.

But be my hopes rewarded,
Or be they but in vain,
I have dreamed a golden vision,
I have gathered in the grain -
I have dreamed a golden vision,
I have not lived in vain.

Thursday 1 July 2010

The Call

There's some danger that this blog may become just an excuse to swoon over the poetry of Rupert Brooke, but I promise to remember soon that I'm supposed to be a medievalist. But a couple of my favourites first - this was the poem of his I fell in love with as a thirteen-year-old romantic.

The Call

Out of the nothingness of sleep,
The slow dreams of Eternity,
There was a thunder on the deep:
I came, because you called to me.

I broke the Night's primeval bars,
I dared the old abysmal curse,
And flashed through ranks of frightened stars
Suddenly on the universe!

The eternal silences were broken;
Hell became Heaven as I passed. --
What shall I give you as a token,
A sign that we have met, at last?

I'll break and forge the stars anew,
Shatter the heavens with a song;
Immortal in my love for you,
Because I love you, very strong.

Your mouth shall mock the old and wise,
Your laugh shall fill the world with flame,
I'll write upon the shrinking skies
The scarlet splendour of your name,

Till Heaven cracks, and Hell thereunder
Dies in her ultimate mad fire,
And darkness falls, with scornful thunder,
On dreams of men and men's desire.

Then only in the empty spaces,
Death, walking very silently,
Shall fear the glory of our faces
Through all the dark infinity.

So, clothed about with perfect love,
The eternal end shall find us one,
Alone above the Night, above
The dust of the dead gods, alone.