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Lawrence Hall May 2019
From A Liturgy for the Emperor

We believe in God's holy empire too,
Byzantium, eternally golden
The Red-Apple Tree in the eastern sun
The City that echoes with laughing light
Through memory and history and beyond.
We believe in God and His Emperor,
And we believe that in the absence of
The Emperor, even then we must be
The Emperor's subjects, stubborn and true,
Wherever God has chosen to send us.
We then must rule our passions and our hearts,
Tend our gardens as if they were Eden --
Because they are -- and care for our children
As if angels were visiting tonight,
Until our God restores our Emperor,
Restores His City where the Earth-halves meet,
And finally, some day, some happy day,
Returns Himself to sit and rule enthroned
In His Three Romes, and in Jerusalem
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Amidst the hordes, such mighty wroth:
my bloodline doth elate.
Posterity hath, though, borne aloft
my banner as the Great.

Springing forth my namesake there,
outhewn from Hellas’ opal,
that city which was brought to bear:
her name Constantinople.

For years to pass there was beholden
Thy glory all so clear.
The Great City’s holy site, golden:
there stood Hagia Sophia.

Therein however I bade Thee
to grant portent or sign.
Thou didst forsooth bequeath to me
one sacred and divine.

I stand upon the ever-brink,
Rome’s beauty lies thereunder.
Thy truth through me starteth to sink,
it striketh me like thunder.

The sun blindeth my weary eyes
as I gaze over yonder;
whereupon thou revealest me:
In this sign, you will conquer.
Emperor Constantine I, or the Great, was the first Roman Emperor to legalise Christianity, and did himself convert. It was also he who named Constantinople.

The Chi-Rho (☧) is a famous Christian symbol that was revealed to Saint Constantine in a dream. It is comprised of the first two letters of 'Christ' in Greek (ΧΡ). Therewith, in that dream, Constantine heard the message: "In this sign, you will conquer," as my last verse refers to!
Lawrence Hall Nov 2016
The Sea-Road to Constantinople

                 For Tod on his Birthday

A coastal lugger wallows in the waves
Almost adrift in its poor steerageway
Slow-yawing northeast from the blue Aegean
Into the soft-murmuring Marmara.
Athens is in the past, and soon, ahead,
Constantinople’s walls will catch the dawn.
Our sticks, our packs, a space upon the deck
A book of verse, a cup, a spoon, a bowl,
Some prayers the priest was pleased to copy out
For us poor pilgrims who with weary feet
Were pleased to board a northbound boat at last
And rest through sunlit days with pipes alight
And words and prayers afloat among the sails,
Among the gulls that circle ‘round the mast.
All travelers pray for their hearts’ desires
To wait for them ashore at journey’s end;
For us, ours is to serve the Emperor -
A little further, there beyond the stars.
I entered my poem "last night I dreamed" in the Tallenge poetry competition for May 2014, which it won, it's now in the annual competition so I'd really appreciate your support by voting for it at -

You can find the poem down the line in my list of poems, but I'll paste it here again so you can check it out to see if it's worth a vote.

Last Night I dreamt
Of the Hagia Sophia.
Looking across
mighty Bosphorous.
In Istanbul, in Byzantium,
in Constantinople.
A prize of ages...........
In all her many's
real and imagined glory.
Man's desire,
God's gift.
Stone's testament
To my species' faith,
In eternity.

Though this Hagia,
My Sophia,
was one of my dreams
In a dream-city/state.
In a dream Macedon/Thrace,
Modern and ancient
Asian/Europe, European-Asia,
Turk and Greek
Jew and Russian
Balkan stars fall upon her'
Coloured light's
and bright vid-screens.
Amid stone and earth
Glass and concrete,
Granite and amythst

Huge, jewel-covered,
ancient beyond measure....
Not just Constantine's church,
though mighty church it was..
Or Mehmet's prize;
though great Mosque it became
Nor Theodosius's rock
Though he still fights for her
Somewhere in the past.
And no dry museum either,
Though museum she is..........
In reality.

Just an ancient place,
Euxine harbour
Cross-road of man and water,
Land and Gods
Magic and reality
Chozen by Hellas
Built and owned
by Christ's children
Subjects of St. Paul's
Holy empire.
Orthodox and sacred
To Greek and Rus.
No Latin hymns
We're sung in her walls.

Then won by Turk
In wars fierce and long -
So now Muhammed's shrine
Ottoman and Pasha
Jewel of a new kingdom
Built upon built
Myriad upon myriad
Pagan, Muslim, Jew, and Christian
And the Gods of Hellas
who dwell there still
Watch and wonder
at it all

But in my dream
She was made -
in the shape of a grassy mound
Many faceted, growing still
Amid structures, attached to her
spans and arches
Ancient wonder
Modern glory
Flowing and rising
Worshipped by all who
dwelt near her.
Grassed covered
Monument strewn
Stretching up to the dark -
Starry Sky
Heart's desire
White rocks paved
And eternal grasses
Dewed by Hellene Gods
Whose light it saved

Last night I dreamed
Of the Hagia Sophia.......
Thank you in advance if you give me a vote.

— The End —