Thursday, December 21, 2017

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 !"

Grizzlebeard. "Rank blasphemy I said, and heresy, which is worse. For at Christmas we should in particular forgive our enemies."
The Sailor. "I do. This song is about those that do not forgive me."
The Poet. "And it is bad verse, like all the rest."
The Sailor. "Go drown yourself in milk and water; it is great, hefty howl-verse, as strong and meaty as that other of mine was lovely and be-winged."
Grizzlebeard. "What neither the Poet nor you seem to know, Sailor, is that the quarrels of versifiers are tedious to stand-by, so let us go into the Cricketers' Arms and eat as you say, in God's name, and occupy ourselves with something pleasanter than the disputed lyric."

~Hilaire Belloc: Excerpt from The Four Men: A Farrago

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Hilaire Belloc
"THIS house where such good things are done year by year has suffered all the things that every age has suffered. It has known the sudden separation of wife and husband, the sudden fall of young men under arms who will never more come home, the scattering of the living and their precarious return, the increase and the loss of fortune, all those terrors and all those lessenings and haltings and failures of hope which make up the life of man. But its Christmas binds it to its own past and promises its future; making the house an undying thing of which those subject to mortality within it are members, sharing in its continuous survival."

~Hilaire Belloc: A Remaining Christmas.
See the complete article here

Sunday, December 10, 2017

"The vision"

"WHERE THE VISION is but mirage, even there it is a symbol of our goal; where it stands fast and true, for however brief a moment, it can illumine, and should determine the whole of our lives. For such sights are the manifestation of that glory which lies permanent beyond the changing of the world. Of such a sort are the young passionate intentions to relieve the burden of mankind, first love, the mood created by certain strains of music, and—as I am willing to believe—the Walls of Heaven."

~Hilaire Belloc: On a Faery Castle.

Complete essay here.

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