The lute continues

Orpheus with his lute made treesFair enough: bad translation and, if you didn’t get it (La lutte continue!), a despicably worse pun.

Anyway, (right) there’s Orpheus and his lute, charming the birds and the bees.

That’s the way we are going.

The other lutte, on Slugger O’Toole (see previous post) had an after-shock. The powers-that-be (i.e. Mick Fealty, the boss himself) were less than convinced by Malcolm’s midnight matinee on the topic of Larry Humphrey and his nolle timere.

So Malcolm tried another, and — he feels — all-conquering sally.

But first …

Anglican night-shirts and neckwear

Malcolm fully appreciates that unreconstructed Romanists (you know who you are!) fail to appreciate the theological implications of Anglian clerical dress. Nor recognise it is a symbolic matter down to the present day.

High or Low Church, the storm warnings are all in the clobber:

  • Pay particular attention to the pectoral cross: its absence is an awful premonition and warning of guitars and dancing in the aisle.
  • Don’t expect a decent bash at the 1662 Prayer Book if the M&S shirt replaces the decent stock.
  • Style 728X Clergy Latin Single Breasted cassock is a sure-fire guarantee that none of that awkward hand-shaking and “sharing of the peace” has to be endured.

Then, more politically, did you not observe, along with Mr Andrew Marr’s Sabbath return, Archbishop Sentamu missing dog-collar (and, as of the last few weeks, Malcolm’s Yorkie Metropolitan)?


Do you not appreciate why?

Now for the Classical bit, with added buttons

Similarly with the serious grammatical matter of nolle+ following infinitive. Despite the trivial protests of Rory Carr at Slugger O’Toole (see 3 September 2013 at 11:23 am), this is an accepted Latin construction, particularly so with poets needing to fill a tum-titty, tum-titty hexameter line.

More to the point, it is one with which Heaney was familiar. Let Malcolm direct all comers to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, book ten, lines 38-39:

Quod si fata negant veniam pro coniuge, certum est
Nolle redire mihi: leto caudate duorum.

Orpheus1858[1]Non-Latinists and the less-classically attuned should still recognise the story of Orpheus and Euridice, nobly celebrated by Herr Gluck. Then, in a degenerated later age, it was bouffe(d) by M. Offenbach in a deplorably leg-show manner).

 [If you clicked that last hotlink, and your speaker cones blew out around 1:25, don’t blame Malcolm. The poster — as right — should have provided as ample a warning as the previously-noted down-market gear of the Evangelical minister.]

If your Latin isn’t up to Ovid, try Dryden’s version (who never fails for Malcolm):

But if the destinies refuse my vow,
And no remission of her doom allow;
Know, I’m determin’d to return no more;
So both retain, or both to life restore.

The drafts of Heaney’s rendering of that Ovid episode are lodged at the National University of Ireland. If you still don’t get the implications, recall that Heaney celebrated Marie’s and his honeymoon (in London) in The Underground:

There we were in the vaulted tunnel running,
You in your going-away coat speeding ahead
And me, me then like a fleet god gaining
Upon you before you turned to a reed

Or some new white flower japped with crimson
As the coat flapped wild and button after button
Sprang off and fell in a trail
Between the Underground and the Albert Hall.

Honeymooning, mooning around, late for the Proms,
Our echoes die in that corridor and now
I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones
Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons

To end up in a draughty lamplit station
After the trains have gone, the wet track
Bared and tensed as I am, all attention
For your step following and damned if I look back.


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Filed under London, Northern Ireland, Quotations, reading, Religious division, Seamus Heaney, Slugger O'Toole

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