December 24, 2005

the waving song, the mystery...

I noticed this poem because I was just last night listening to a CD with Byrd and Tallis and other Renaissance masters...

    KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL

When to the music of Byrd or Tallis,
  The ruffled boys singing in the blackened stalls,
The candles lighting the small bones on their faces,
  The Tudors stiff in marble on the walls,

There comes to evensong Elizabeth or Henry,
  Rich with brocade, pearl, golden lilies, at the altar,
The scarlet lions leaping on their bosoms,
  Pale royal hands fingering the crackling psalter,

Henry is thinking of his lute and of backgammon,
  Elizabeth follows the waving song, the mystery,
Proud in her red wig and green jewelled favors,
  They sit in their white lawn sleeves, as cool as history.
      --Charles Causley
Posted by John Weidner at December 24, 2005 10:37 AM
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