Friday, January 04, 2008

Epiphany



Twelfth Night
(The Song of the Camels)

Elizabeth Coatsworth

Not born to the forest are we,
Not born to the plain,
To the grass and the shadowed tree
And the splashing of rain.
Only the sand we know
And the cloudless sky,
The mirage and the deep-sunk well
And the stars on high.

To the sound of our bells we came
With huge soft stride,
Kings riding upon our backs
And slaves at our side,
Out of the east brought on
By a dream of a star,
Seeking the hills and the groves
Where the fixed towns are.

Our goal was no palace gate,
No temple of gold,
But a child in his mother's lap
In the cloudy cold.
The olives were windy and white,
Dust swirled through the town,
As all in their royal robes
Our masters knelt down.

Then back to the desert we paced
In our phantom state
And faded again in the sands
That are secret as fate--
Portents of glory and danger,
Our dark shadows lay
At the feet of the babe in the manger
And then drifted away...

7 Comments:

At January 5, 2008 at 10:05:00 AM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

On a completely unrelated note, Fausto may be pleased to know that I have named a ship after him in a pirate-themed mystery that I'm writing for the YRUU group.

CC

 
At January 5, 2008 at 7:57:00 PM EST, Blogger fausto said...

O ye of little faith. Grasshopper, you are forgetting the holy Seventh UU Principle: that we are all part of an interdependent web, and there is nothing that is "completely unrelated". For example, the camel is also known as "the ship of the desert". And the three ships of the carol, "I Saw Three Ships", are those of the Three Kings of the Orient -- i. e., their camels.

BTW, without conceding anything to Calvinism, I am not worthy.
I hope you are naming your ship not after Fausto the ever more sporadic blogger, but after Fausto Sozzini, the vernacular name of the Unitarian trailblazer which translated into Latin was the more recognizable (to UU RE types, anyway) Faustus Socinus. He gave his name not only to me but to Socinianism, the doctrine that Jesus was human rather than divine. He, Ferencz (or Francis) David, and Miguel Serveto (or Michael Servetus) comprised the "three ships" of Unitarianism during the Protestant Reformation.

 
At January 7, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

I was looking for a good name for a Portuguese merchant ship, googled Portuguese baby names and "Fausto" was a suggestion. I thought to myself "Wow, authentically Unitarian AND a shoutout to my homie" and used it.

So I think that means it's named after both of you.

CC

 
At January 8, 2008 at 6:22:00 AM EST, Blogger fausto said...

But he was Italian, and I'm mostly Scot. Nary a drop of Portuguese blood between us.

If I needed a Portuguese name for a UU event, I think Dan Harper would be my go-to guy. After all, he ministers to UUs from a pulpit in New Bedford. But given his fascination with aliens, he might name it "Galactica" or "Millenium Falcon" or something, and that's not the right tone at all. So I'd probably save some time and just name it Linguica.

 
At January 19, 2008 at 8:58:00 AM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

I took your suggestion and I've named another boat the Linguica.
So far the merchant ship remains the Fausto. It doesn't surprise me that the Portuguese and the Italians have a lot of baby-name-overlap.

CC

 
At January 19, 2008 at 9:00:00 AM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

Besides, for all we know the Portuguese merchant bought the boat from an Italian Scot and never bothered to change the name.

CC

 
At January 19, 2008 at 4:03:00 PM EST, Blogger fausto said...

In case you need to speak the name out loud, the "c" in "linguica" is pronounced like an "s".

 

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