Sunday, December 23, 2012

Poem: Down in Yon Forest

I must apologise that, what with one thing and another, I haven't had time to post much in the last month. When I am reading, there's little time for posting, and vice versa!

Still, once the holidays are over, there will be some exciting reviews coming up. Over the last six months I have been slowly reading through Saint Augustine's venerable tome The City of God, which I just finished a couple of days ago. Interesting, engaging and informative, De Civitate Dei (its original title in the Latin) was written as the curtain went up on the decentralisation of Rome and the dawn of Christendom, and was enormously influential on Western civilisation as we know it. It will take some reviewing.

Meanwhile, as usual, I intend to take the next couple of weeks' holiday to read another great epic poem. I couldn't be more excited about this epic, which is one of the greatest artistic works of the Reformation. A thrilling, richly allegorical tale of knights, ladies, dragons, witches, traitors, monsters, handsome princes, damsels in distress, Elves, Satyrs, jousts, perils, epic battles, evil lairs, tangled forests, enchanted castles, and magic weapons, this story is also about sound doctrine, the epic war of good versus evil, the beauty of virtue, and Reformation history.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, and if you're wondering how on earth you might have missed such a gem, then do check back in January for a comprehensive review!

And in the meanwhile, I'd like to post one of my favourite Christmas carols, an old song from Derbyshire:

Down in yon forest there stands a hall:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
It's covered all over with purple and pall
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

In that hall there stands a bed:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
It's covered all over with scarlet so red:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

At the bed-side there lies a stone:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Which the sweet Virgin Mary knelt upon:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

Under that bed there runs a flood:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
The one half runs water, the other runs blood:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

At the bed's foot there grows a thorn:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Which ever blows blossom since he was born:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

Over that bed the moon shines bright:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Denoting our Saviour was born this night:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

And of course, my favourite recording of this lovely song is the one made by my friend Christina of Baehrly Reading.

3 comments:

Lady Bibliophile said...

Such a pretty carol, and a beautiful video of your friend! :)

Mahri said...

Thanks very much for that. My favourite Christmas carols are the very old ones like this. I enjoyed it very much. Merry Christmas.

Christina Baehr said...

*blush*

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