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Monday, September 12, 2005

Hagia Sophia, Boromir & Hobbes, etc.

If Turkey has to join the EU, we should at least get Hagia Sophia out of it.

Okay okay, so it would be the Greek Orthodox Church that would get Hagia Sophia out of it. But heap coals on their head and sign this petition anyway.

The Last Mass in Hagia Sophia

Anonymous Song of Lamentation
for the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Translated by Richard Stoneman

God rings the bells, earth rings the bells, the sky itself is ringing,
The Holy Wisdom, the great church, is ringing out the message,
Four hundred sounding boards sound out, and two and sixty bells,
For every bell there is a priest, for every priest a deacon.
To the left the emperor is singing, to the right the patriarch,
And all the columns tremble with the thunder of the chant.
And as the emperor began the hymns to the Cherubim,
A voice came down to them from the sky, from the archangel’s mouth:
Cease the Cherubic hymn, and let the sacred objects bow;
Priests, take the holy things away, extinguish all the candles:
God’s Will has made our city now into a Turkish city.
But send a message to the West, and let them send three ships:
The first to take the cross, the second to remove the Gospel,
The third, the finest shall rescue for us our holy altar.
Lest it all to those dogs, and they defile it and dishonour it.
The Holy Virgin was distressed, the very icons wept.
Be calm, beloved lady, be calm and do not weep for them.
Though years, though centuries shall pass, they shall be yours again.

Let it be so!

* * *

I've just discovered an excellent Polish artist who makes beautiful Tolkien art. Most of the pictures involve either Silmarilion characters or those two dashing sons of Denethor... as kids! She has also made a series of parody comic strips where little Boromir creates havoc instead of Calvin. Very funny.

* * *

Last week, Christendom College celebrated its annual Italian night. Some 15 students stayed all Friday night in the kitchen, baking bread and throwing flour at each other, and on Saturday Fr. Heisler blessed the bread and we broke out the burgundy. By ten o'clock the dancing under the moon had begun, and I watched the Papist debauch from a distance with two of my friends, who were wanting company in their antisocialness. (Don't ask me about the logic of that!) From what I heard the next day, it was much like last year's Italian night, except without the soapsuds. The Irish Mafioso made his second appearance. In case this year's Italian Night doesn't get a write-up, I am linking to Sheila's droll article on Italian Night Past. Enjoy!

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