Monthly Archives: January 2011

Aphorism #2,625

El peso de este mundo sólo se puede soportar postrado de hinojos.

One can only support the weight of this world while on one’s knees.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 424. Translation: Don Colacho’s Aphorisms.

Posted in Philosophia | 3 Comments

“Spiritus Dei”

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
      Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
      And do what Thou would’st do.

Breath on me, Breath of God,
      Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
      To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
      Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
      Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
      So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
      Of Thine eternity.

Edwin Hatch, Towards Fields of Light: Sacred Poems (Hodder & Stoughton, 1890)

Edwin Hatch was the author of, amongst other things, The Hatch-Redpath Concordance to the Septuagint, still a useful tool in Septuagint studies. It remained incomplete at his untimely death in 1889, and was completed by his younger colleague Henry Redpath. His book of his religious poetry, Towards Fields of Light: Sacred Poems, was published in the year following his death. It is another example, and there are many, of the devotion of a renowned scholar to the Cause of all.

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King James OT with Apocrypha Annual Reading Plan

Reader Ken Holpp left a comment asking if I knew of any good annual reading plans for the full King James Bible, that is, including the Apocrypha. That piqued my interest. As I wasn’t able to find such a plan promptly on the web, I decided to create a reading plan for the King James Bible Old Testament and Apocrypha, in the order in which they were published in the 1611 edition. The result is the One Year King James Old Testament with Apocrypha Reading Plan.

Were a user so inclined to use this plan, he would need a companion plan for reading the New Testament throughout the course of the year. Precisely in mind while I was doing this was the provision of the Optina Kellia New Testament reading plan, particularly that rendering of the plan communicated to me by my brother in Christ Esteban Vázquez, as described on my page titled Eastern Orthodox New Testament Reading Plan, and by Esteban on his own blog in a two part series: On Reading the Scriptures, Parts One and Two. The KJV plan above has included the Book of Psalms, so the reader would not need to follow a plan for reciting the Psalms (like the Eastern Orthodox practice of reciting a various number of Psalms per day, as described on my page Eastern Orthodox Psalm Reading Plan, whether following it in full or in a basic form.

Suggestions and corrections are always welcome!

Posted in Biblical Studies | 4 Comments

All Saints

They have brought gold and spices to my King,
      Incense and precious stuffs and ivory;
O holy Mother mine, what can I bring
      That so my Lord may deign to look on me?
They sing a sweeter song than I can sing,
      All crowned and glorified exceedingly:
I, bound on earth, weep for my trespassing,–
      They sing the song of love in heaven, set free.
Then answered me my Mother, and her voice
      Spake to my heart, yea answered in my heart:
‘Sing, saith He to the heavens, to earth, Rejoice:
Thou also lift thy heart to Him above:
      He seeks not thine, but thee such as thou art,
For lo His banner over thee is Love.’

Christina Georgina Rossetti, 20 January 1852

Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment

Deir El Bahari: Temple of Hatshepsut

How did she come here, when it was new and sparkling,
White and immaculate against the huge and spongy cliffs,
The great Queen, how did she come, in the cool of winter,
To review her voyages, perhaps, or admire her politics?
Not like the tourist, with his camera and serious weary step,
Not like the dragoman, with his sideways twist, poised in a revelatory date,
Not like the archaeologist, brisk, with a fly whisk . . .

Grand destination, deserving a green and pleasant air-field,
Or a royal station, garnished with banners and carpets–
How did she arrive, the peaceful Queen, to smile discreetly over her portraits–
Her masculine beard, being man, or her marvellous birth, being god?
To study her exotic wonders, the Red Sea fishes, the fat queen of Punt?
Not like the tourist, homesick on a hell-bred donkey,
Not like the dragoman, informed yet obsequious,
Not like the archaeologist, in a jeep, with new theories . . .

How did she reach here? Kohl-eyed and henna-stained?
Across her breast the whip and the crozier? The desert
Is old and democratic, rude and unpolished the rocks.
The figures of this landscape? During the season,
Gentlemen in shorts and sun-glasses, ladies with tweeds and twisted ankles,
And all the year, the little denizens, with leather feet and tattered gallabiehs,
The wide-striding village women, their drab and dusty dress . . .

But what of a Queen, and one who built this temple, so clean and deep and sure,
Curling inside the clenched and hanging cliff? What magic carpet
Drawn by bright and flying lions? What cloudburst of gold dust?
Between her treasures, incense trees and ivory, panther skins and ebony–
What laid her gently upon those sculptured steps?

D. J. Enright. From The Laughing Hyena and Other Poems (1953), available in Collected Poems 1948-1998 (Oxford University Press, 1998)

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