Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Sailor's Carol

The Sailor─

"Noël ! Noël ! Noël ! Noël !
A Catholic tale have I to tell !
And a Christian song have I to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

"I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pay detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

"May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noël ! Noël ! Noël ! Noël !
May all my enemies go to hell !
Noël ! Noël !"

~Hilaire Belloc: from The Four Men: A Farrago

Monday, December 1, 2014

"His remark has no intellectual value"

“WHEN a man tells you that it “stands to reason” that such and such a thing, to which he is unaccustomed, cannot have taken place, his remark has no intellectual value whatever.”

~Hilaire Belloc: Essays of a Catholic.

Poem: December

Hoar Time about the house betakes him slow, 
Seeking an entry for his weariness; 
And in that dreadful company Distress 
And the sad Night with silent footsteps go. 
On my poor fire the brands are scarce aglow, 
And in the woods without what memories press; 
Where, waning in the trees from less to less, 
Mysterious bangs the hornèd moon, and low. 

For now December, full of aged care, 
Comes in upon the yea and weakly grieves, 
Mumbling his lost desires and his despair; 
And with mad trembling hand still interweaves 
The dank sear flower-stalks tangled in his hair, 
While round about him whirl the rotten leaves.

~Hilaire Belloc

Photo: Hilaire Belloc, at his home in King's Land, Shipley, West Sussex.

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