Subversive carols: “O that birth forever blessed”

O that birth forever blessèd,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
evermore and evermore!


Hymn IV: To Antinous the Lover

You have the power to set us free, and so
we hail you as Liberator. You have the wisdom
to guide, and so we hail you as Navigator.
Yet wisdom and power are not enough to satisfy
us, and so, Antinous, we hail you as Lover.
For you do love, intimately, personally,
individually, even as you loved Hadrian,
or your parents, or your friends. And you are
supremely lovable, as beautiful boy, as
faithful friend, as glorious god who is Victor
over the archons, Star of the Eagle,
Emperor of Peace.

To the powerless grant power, God Man,
and to the foolish grant wisdom, but above all,
grant love to those who are without it. May those
who are unloved know the ever-flowing waters
of your grace; may those who are unable to love
know the sting of desire, of sympathy, and of
compassion. May I, your devotee, love you
with all that I am and all that I may be, and
in your love, may I become all that I may
to be loved by and to love you forever.

The Marriage of Paneros and Paneris

Epithalamium (and after)


Empedocles taught that if Love ruled the universe,
all things would become inert through harmony.
Yet if Strife ruled instead, no parts could come together
into form. Between Love and Strife, two points of balance
in an endless cycle, brief as the equal day and night
in the cosmic scheme, yet long enough for beings
to rise and pass away. Four elements whirl together,
mind inhabits them, then they whirl apart.

Philotes and Neikos, never the twain shall meet,
but Paneros and Paneris, too, are Love and Strife,
all-love, all-strife, and married as the day is long.
If Love and Strife were to join hands
and souls
and bodies
and give each other their all,
who can say what is not possible?