Eructavit Cor Meum Verbum Bonum

The sound of the Voice of Columbkille
Great its sweetness above all clerics:
To the end of fifteen hundred paces,
Though great the distance, it was distinctly heard.

— From the Irish Life of St. Columba in the Leabhar Breac.

I must not pass over another well-authenticated story, told, indeed, by those who heard it, regarding the voice of the blessed man in singing the psalms. The venerable man, when singing in the church with the brethren, raised his voice so wonderfully that it was sometimes heard four furlongs off, that is five hundred paces, and sometimes eight furlongs, that is one thousand paces. But what is stranger still: to those who were with him in the church, his voice did not seem louder than that of others; and yet at the same time persons more than a mile away heard it so distinctly that they could mark each syllable of the verses he was singing, for his voice sounded the same whether far or near. It is however admitted, that this wonderful character in the voice of the blessed man was but rarely observable, and even then it could never happen without the aid of the Holy Ghost.

A hillfort on the summit of Craig Phadrig, a forested hill on the western edge of Inverness, is supposed to have been the base of the Pictish King Brude (Bridei mac Maelchon).
A hillfort on the summit of Craig Phadrig, a forested hill on the western edge of Inverness, is supposed to have been the base of the Pictish King Brude (Bridei mac Maelchon).

Nam ipse Sanctus cum paucis fratribus extra regis munitionem dum vespertinales Dei laudes ex more celebraret, quidam Magi, ad eos propius accedentes, in quantum poterant, prohibere conabantur, ne de ore ipsorum divinae laudis sonus inter Gentiles audiretur populos.

But another story concerning the great and wonderful power of his voice should not be omitted. The fact is said to have taken place near the fortress of King Brude. When the saint himself was chanting the evening hymns with a few of the brethren, as usual, outside the king’s fortifications, some Druids, coming near to them, did all they could to prevent God’s praises being sung in the midst of a pagan nation. On seeing this, the saint began to sing the 44th Psalm, and at the same moment so wonderfully loud, like pealing thunder, did his voice become, that king and people were struck with terror and amazement.

— St. Adomnán’s Vita Columbæ, Book I, Chapter xxxxvii.

Holds Good in 1915

Recruitment poster from the Great War, featuring portrait and stanza from Burns' I'll Go and Be a Sodger, Museum of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
Recruitment poster from the Great War, featuring portrait and stanza from Burns’ I’ll Go And Be a Sodger, Museum of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

O why the deuce should I repine,
And be an ill foreboder?
I’m twenty-three, and five feet nine,
I’ll go and be a sodger!

I gat some gear wi’ mickle care,
I held it weel thegither;
But now it’s gane, and something mair-
I’ll go and be a sodger!

I’ll Go And Be A Sodger, Robert Burns, 1782.

To Him Who Is Able

Lancelot Andrewes.
Lancelot Andrewes.

Let us beseech the Lord in peace, for the heavenly peace, and the salvation of our souls;–for the peace of the whole world; for the stability of God’s holy Churches, & the union of them all;–for this holy house, and those who enter it with faith and reverence; for our holy Fathers, the honourable Presbytery, the Diaconate in Christ, and all, both Clergy and people;–for this holy retreat, and all the city and country, and all the faithful who dwell therein;–for salubrious weather, fruitfulness of earth, and peaceful times;–for voyagers, travellers, those who are in sickness, toil, and captivity, and for their salvation. Aid, save, pity, and preserve them, O God, in Thy grace. Making mention of the all-holy, undefiled, and more than blessed Mary, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin, with all saints, let us commend ourselves, and each other, and all our life, to Christ our God.

To Thee, O Lord, for it is fitting, be glory, honour, and worship. The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with me, and with all of us. Amen.

I commend me and mine, and all that belongs to me, to Him who is able to keep me without falling, & to place me immaculate before the presence of His glory, to the only wise God and our Saviour; to whom be glory and greatness, strength and authority, both now and for all ages. Amen.

Lancelot Andrewes’ Greek Devotions (Course of Prayers for the Week: The Fifth Day),
translated by Blessed J. H. Newman.

Glacis

Detail of J.W.G. Næser's map of Christiania (Oslo, Norway) 1860, showing the esplanade on the north side of Akershus Fortress, with scarp, ditch, counterscarp and glacis on the present Kontraskjæret park.
Detail of J.W.G. Næser’s map of Christiania (Oslo, Norway) 1860, showing the esplanade on the north side of Akershus Fortress, with scarp, ditch, counterscarp and glacis on the present Kontraskjæret park.

A glacis in military engineering is an artificial slope of earth used in late European fortresses (from the late 1520s) so constructed as to keep any potential assailant under the fire of the defenders until the last possible moment. On natural, level ground, troops attacking any high work have a degree of shelter from its fire when close up to it; the glacis consists of a slope with a low grade inclined towards the top of the wall. This gave defenders a direct line of sight into the assaulting force, allowing them to efficiently sweep the field with fire from the parapet. Additionally, but secondarily, the bank of earth would shield the walls from being hit directly by cannon fire.

Pangur Bán

Riechenauer Schulheft (Reichenau Primer), Folio 1 verso / 2 recto, displaying the poem Pangur Bán; St. Paul's Abbey, Lavanttal, Carinthia (Stift St. Paul Cod. 86a/1).
Riechenauer Schulheft (Reichenau Primer), folio 1 verso/2 recto, displaying the poem Pangur Bán; St. Paul’s Abbey, Lavanttal, Carinthia (Stift St. Paul Cod. 86a/1).

Preserved in the Reichenau Primer (Stift St. Paul Cod. 86b/1 fol 1v), and now kept in St. Paul’s Abbey in the Lavanttal, Pangur Bán (Gaelic “white fuller”) is a circa 9th century Old Irish poem composed by an anonymous Irish monk about his pet cat. The poem, which compares the activities of the cat with those of the scribe himself, bears similarities to the poetry of Sedulius Scotus or Scottus (fl. 840-860), an Irish teacher, Latin grammarian, and scriptural commentator.

Gaelic

Messe agus Pangur Bán,
cechtar nathar fria shaindán:
bíth a menmasam fri seilgg,
mu menma céin im shaincheirdd.Caraimse fos, ferr cach clú
oc mu lebrán, léir ingnu;
ní foirmtech frimm Pangur bán
caraid cesin a maccdán

Ó ru biam, scél gan scís
innar tegdais, ar n-óendís,
táithiunn, díchríchide clius
ní fris tarddam ar n-áthius

Gnáth, húaraib, ar gressaib gal
glenaid luch inna línsam;
os mé, du-fuit im lín chéin
dliged ndoraid cu ndronchéill

Fúachaidsem fri frega fál
a rosc, a nglése comlán;
fúachimm chéin fri fégi fis
mu rosc réil, cesu imdis.

Fáelidsem cu ndéne dul
hi nglen luch inna gérchrub;
hi tucu cheist ndoraid ndil
os mé chene am fáelid.

Cia beimmi a-min nach ré
ní derban cách a chéile
maith la cechtar nár a dán;
subaigthius a óenurán

Hé fesin as choimsid dáu;
in muid du-ngní cach óenláu;
du thabairt doraid du glé
for mu muid céin am messe.

English

I and Pangur Bán, my cat
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight
Hunting words I sit all night.Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way:
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

— English translation of Pangur Bán by Robin Flower.

In the 2009 animated movie The Secret of Kells, which is heavily inspired by Irish mythology, one of the supporting characters is a white cat named Pangur Bán who arrives at the monastery of Kells in the company of the monk, Aidan of Iona. A verse of the poem is read out during the credit roll.

For the Name of Jesus and the Protection of the Church, I Am Ready to Embrace Death.

St. Thomas Becket enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury; from a Nottingham Alabaster in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
St. Thomas Becket enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury; from a Nottingham Alabaster in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?

— King Henry II of St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In Cold Virginia Earth

Is there indeed a door,
Where the old pastimes, with their lawful noise,
And all the merry round of Christmas joys,
Could enter as of yore?

Would not some pallid face
Look in upon the banquet, calling up
Dread shapes of battle in the wassail cup,
And trouble all the place?

How could we bear the mirth,
While some loved reveller of a year ago
Keeps his mute Christmas now beneath the snow,
In cold Virginia earth?

— From the poem, Christmas, by Henry Timrod,
Charleston Mercury, 25 December 1862, p. 2, c. 2.