Monday, February 13, 2012

Hermit's Song

Here's a cool little anonymous poem from the 8th century I came across in a book my uncle got me.  I will probably share another one or two from it sometime.  Enjoy!

Hermit's Song

I wish, O Son of the living God,
O ancient, eternal King,
For a hidden little hut in the wilderness
That it may be my dwelling

An all-grey lithe little lark
to be by its side,
A clear pool to wash away sins
Through the grace of the Holy Spirit,

Quite near, a beautiful wood
around it on every side,
To nurse many-voiced birds,
hiding within its shelter.

A southern aspect for warmth,
A little brook across its floor,
A choice land with many gracious gifts
Such as be good for every plant.

A few men of sense -
We will tell their number
Humble and obedient,
To pray to the King.

Four times three, three times four,
Fit for every need.
Twice six in the church,
Both north and south:

Six pairs besides myself,
Praying for ever the King
Who makes the sun shine.

A pleasant church
And with the linen altar-cloth,
A dwelling for God from Heaven;

Then, shining candles
Above the pure white Scriptures,.
One house for all to go to 
For the care of the body,

Without ribaldry, without boasting
Without thought of evil
This is the husbandry I would take,
I will choose, and will not hide it:

Fragrant leek, hens, salmon, trout, bees.
Raiment and food enough for me
From the King of fair fame,
And I to be sitting for a while
Praying to God in every place.

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