10 December 2008

Gone Are the Days

One of my primary motives in creating this blog has been the desire to remember the past, not to lose as part of our daily lives the heritage that our civilisation, and specifically Christian civilisation, has bequeathed to us. A good friend of mine, a priest of the Œcumenical Patriarchate in London, recently sent me a poem he wrote on this theme. It expresses quite well what I consider to be essentially my own feelings.

'Gone Are the Days'
by Fr Vasilios Papavasiliou

Gone are those days of sacred dreams –
A world fashioned from visions divine;
Monks forging the word on bits of old parchment,
Saints raising temples in the midst of the storm.
Remains alone survive of that intricate tapestry,
Weaved with the threads of sacred desire,
It’s story a tale of sacred anxiety -
Now frayed and worn by human indifference.
A new world has conquered the ages before.
What legacy will it bequeath to posterity?
A dark age spawned from days of ‘enlightenment’,
No bliss in our ignorance, no freedom regained.
Rules, morals, statutes and laws
Oppress us still, but with no reason or rhyme.
The ‘tyrant’ has surely been vanquished, defeated,
And where is our freedom, the peace of the world?
Where will we turn when our pillars have crumbled?
To days of old we continue to scorn,
Days which shall never return?

It reminds me of a passage I'm fond of quoting from the Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion [Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983], pp. 297-8):
In all the days of the Third Age, after the fall of Gil-galad, Master Elrond abode in Imladris, and he gathered there many Elves, and other folk of wisdom and power from among all the kindreds of Middle-earth, and he preserved through many lives of Men the memory of all that had been fair; and the house of Elrond was a refuge for the weary and the oppressed, and a treasury of good counsel and wise lore.
I see this blog as a kind of virtual Imladris. Folk of wisdom and power, weary and oppressed people, you are welcome!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind welcome dear Aaron! Though, I'd say I fit into the category of the "weary and oppressed" rather than those of "wisdom and power." I feel quite at home in your virtual Imladris!

Aaron Taylor said...

I'm glad to hear it (or read it), Father!