Friday, November 24, 2017

Vain, a Man's Voice, to Conquer Men!

Men of Aquino
by Lionel Johnson


To Charles Mulvaney

Those angry fires, that clove the air,
Heavy with Rome's Imperial lust:
Those bitter fires that burn and flare
Unquenched, above their kindler's dust:
Aquinum can their birth declare.

The wicked splendors of old time,
Juvenal! stung they passionate heart.
Wrath learned of thee a scorn sublime;
The Muses, a prophetic art:
Yet pride and lust kept still their prime.

A greater birth, Aquinum knows:
Rank upon rank, in stately wise;
Rank upon rank, in ordered rows;
Like sacred hosts and hierarchies,
The march of holy science goes.

Vain, a man's voice, to conquer men!
Rome fell: Rome rose: Aquinum lent
The world her greater citizen:
Armed for Rome's war, Saint Thomas went,
Using God's voice: they listened, then.

Ah, Juvenal: thy trumpet sound:
Woe for the fallen soul of Rome!
But the high saint whose music found
The altar its eternal home,
Sang: Lauda Sion! heavenward bound.

A fourfold music of the Host
He sang: the open Heavens shone plain.
Then back he turned him to his post,
And opened heavenly Laws again,
From first to last, both least and most.

O little Latin town! rejoice,
Who hast such motherhood, as this:
Through all the worlds of faith one voice
Chaunts forth the truth: yet stays not his,
Whose anger made a righteous choice.

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