Guest poem from Ashwin Mahalingam Lest the rest of the known world think I am dead, I have decided to make my presence felt. Random musings led to this poem by Hilaire Belloc which seemed extremely entertaining and amusing. So, I'd like you to put it up on minstrels if you deem it fit:-)
(Poem #78) The Pelagian Drinking Song
Pelagius lived at Kardanoel And taught a doctrine there How, whether you went to heaven or to hell It was your own affair. It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy, But was your own affair. No, he didn't believe In Adam and Eve He put no faith therein! His doubts began With the Fall of Man And he laughed at Original Sin. With my row-ti-tow Ti-oodly-ow He laughed at original sin. Then came the bishop of old Auxerre Germanus was his name He tore great handfuls out of his hair And he called Pelagius shame. And with his stout Episcopal staff So thoroughly whacked and banged The heretics all, both short and tall -- They rather had been hanged. Oh he whacked them hard, and he banged them long Upon each and all occasions Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong Their orthodox persuasions. With my row-ti-tow Ti-oodly-ow Their orthodox persuasions. Now the faith is old and the Devil bold Exceedingly bold indeed. And the masses of doubt that are floating about Would smother a mortal creed. But we that sit in a sturdy youth And still can drink strong ale Let us put it away to infallible truth That always shall prevail. And thank the Lord For the temporal sword And howling heretics too. And all good things Our Christendom brings But especially barley brew! With my row-ti-tow Ti-oodly-ow Especially barley brew!
My comments: The first time I read it, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I especially like the row-ti-tow Ti-oodly-ow's appearing at the end of every alternate stanza. Somehow, however, there does seem to be some meaning in this poem especially in the lines Let us put it away to infallible truth That always shall prevail. which is probably why the piece cannot be classified completely as a nonsense poem. In the end analysis, the metre and the theme make this a very enjoyable poem, and I leave it to the reader to draw whatever inferences he/she may. Mash