Friday, May 26, 2006

The Song of the Vagantes

This is an uproarious poem published several years ago:

The Song of the Vagrant Dream

I'd like to be a vagante (episcopus that is)
And wear the tallest mitre that ever was or is,
Or grow an Elder's whiskers with a mighty Eastern crown
And whisper a troparion whenever I was down.

I'd like to be an Eminence and always wear mozettas,
And have those little tassels for the red hat on my letters,
Or call myself Catholicos and wear a tall white hat
Perhaps alternate Thursdays when things were rather flat.

I'd like to be a Primus with rochet and chimere,
And steal into St. Paul's whenever I was near,
Or start up correspondence with some great man in power,
So I could feel important whenever things went sour.

Oh, whenever the weather is less than clever,
Or I leave the wrong side of the bed,
Or I finally realise for certain that never
Will the Pope send a hat that is red.
I dream and I dream
Of a title that seems
To realise my true destination,
And mounting majestical sanctuary steps
I find with the greatest elation
A throne set on high
With an Archbishop nigh
And surrounding presbyteral assistants,
Beside all of which
In stall, bench and niche
The choir with melodic persistence
Greets its newest and greatest
(Or certainly, latest)
Grand Primatial Archiepiscopance.

May, 1993

There are also these directions on performance:

The last (chorus?) verse should be declaimed with mounting melodramatic excitement ......The interesting thing is that on the few occasions that I have shown that to a vagante - they have always thought that it referred to someone else....


(Courtesy of Fr. Michael at Ely Forum)

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