“From Arcadia to the stone fields of Inisheer…”

Few visitors to the National Cathedral glance up to see who’s perched on the facade just north of Creation. What follows is unreliable; the snowstorm, and my interlocutor’s ancient Greek accent, made accurate transcription rather difficult.


Leave “kyrie” and “tirra lirra” be,
And let me sneer and jeer and leer at thee.
The gates of dawn are bricked and bolted fast;
The springs of piping pastors fell at last.
Now winter twists my reeds like broken wings,
And Philomel abhors the hymn she sings,
Yet all the world adjudges me the thief?
Perhaps I am. So peep behind my leaf,
And spurn what sailors swore in days of old;
I am not dead, dear Thamus—simply cold.

(Above: Pan on February 6, 2010. Below: Pan on December 3, 2009.)

(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tag.)

One thought on ““From Arcadia to the stone fields of Inisheer…”

  1. I’m embarrassed to say that if I hadn’t just finished reading “The Lightning Thief” I wouldn’t have understood the reference to ‘I’m not dead…’.


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