Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dies Irae, Updated

Shamelessly stolen from Bettnet:

Day of wrath, O Day of mourning!
Earth to ashes now returning!
Gather, by the millions, burning!

Cleansed at last by cataclysm
Butchered rhyme and battered rhythm,
Neopagan narcissism!

On that day, Lord, when thou comest, A
nd our dreadful hymnals thumbest,
Smite the ugliest and dumbest.

Smite them, Lord, yet of thy pity
Take their songsters to thy city:
Even Haugen, Haas, and Schutte.

Spare them on the stern condition

That they feel a true contrition
for the Worship III edition.

Doom them not to loss and ruin
While the darker storm is brewing!
They knew not what they were doing.

On that day when Palestrina
Dare not touch a celestina,
What will Sister Ballerina?

With thine eyes that pierce like lances

Still her heathen silly dances
And her flirting with Saint Francis.

Purge us of the prim and prissy,
Ditties fit for Meg or Missy,
Not for Francis, but a sissy.

Cantors who thought nothing grander
Than a sheaf of propaganda
Writ like office memoranda,

Raise them to thy room to bide in

Where their hearts and ears may widen
To the strains of Bach and Haydn.

Let their hearts within them falter,
Hearing, as they near thine altar,
Seraphs sing the Scottish Psalter.

Seize those devils set to pen a
Hymnal neutered of its men, ah,
Fling ‘em all to black Gehenna!

Fling them one and all to mangle
Their pronominals, and wrangle
Lest a participle dangle!

Who held manhood in derision,

Preaching double circumcision,
Suffer now their own revision.

Though the songs of Hell are naughty,
None by Handel or Scarlatti,
At the least they’ll have castrati.

Pitch, O Lord, the bald and raucous
Slogans of a leftist caucus
Down to Sheol, or Secaucus!

Save their singers, though: restore ‘em

To a silent sweet decorum,
Saecula per saeculorem.

Various are the throngs of heaven:
Some were lump, and some were leaven,
Some as lame as six or seven.

When the demons hear thy curses,
And this world’s dense fog disperses,
Heal the hobbled, not their verses.

Hush me too, Lord, when I grumble:
In thy mercy make me humble,
Lest On Turkey’s Wings I stumble.

Though Haugen sing “Hosea” evermore,
Save me, I pray! but keep me near the door. Amen.

This is very good stuff. The scansion was preserved, as was enough of the original text (translated) to make it enjoyable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Dad,

That poem has been zipping around the internet without attribution. Your readers can locate the original at (My editor has been grumbling about this. As for the author, well, as I have reason to know, he is enjoying the fun, though he doesn't like to see the typos that have crept in from one copy to the next!).

Gee, maybe I'll bring it to Motown. Does have kind of a hip-hop to it,

Tony Esolen