Saturday, June 11, 2016

Boethius, St. Ambrose, and Marcion the Docetist (Additions to "The Apology Box")

               Boethius's Sonnet

Was Theodoric’s prison in the end
That proved the real academy.  Was there
They taught first hand true good cannot depend
Upon mere fortune.  There caged in despair

This humbled bureaucrat learned power flees
In but a moment and, too, learned, how fast
“Good” title both in name and properties
Is marred.  Yet, I found hope!  Though no things last

Below at length, that maid Philosophy
Took pity, visited dark dungeons and
Consoled me with her higher poetry
Of permanence.  Caressing that sweet hand,

I thought no more of nooses or of cells
But of divinity and where it dwells.

               Saint Ambrose's Sonnet

Before the awful bench where all will stand
We come in turn to plead and do admit
Our errors though in doing so submit
In mitigation it was not our hand

That sought the staff.  Instead, Milan asked.  We
Were acquiescent, humbly turned our backs
On Roman boons (yet kept her bones as racks
For Christian ornament--past lies would be

Upholders of the truth.)  Thus we transformed
Words, music, marbles, even living flesh--
Behold Augustine we baptized afresh.

Mere spirit now, our temporal see performed,
Pray let us see Rome’s church ascending now
Above Rome’s ruins we’ve refurbished now.

            Marcion The Docetist’s Sonnet

I’ve kneeled before the true God now revealed
Through that majestic phantasm called Christ
That clarified true faith and thus repealed
The older books.  Sweet ghost!  If sacrificed,

I knew it was not God.  Perfection by
Its very terms can never suffer.  For
To suffer is to lose, to be less than
Complete and thus prove imperfection.  Nor

Could it have been a man.  Though man could be
Sinless despite the lie of Eden, You
Could not allow a sinless man to be
Condemned and killed for sins he did not do.

Great ghostly messenger!  It had to be
Of course fantastic coming, Lord, from Thee!

© Harold Anthony Lloyd 2016

The current contents of "The Apology Box" can be found here.

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