Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea


        I greet you once more in the new year. It is fitting that this year, one I hope will be filled with divine graces of every kind, be welcomed with one of the most beautiful love duets in baroque opera.


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Life, and Other Miracles XVI

Apology of the Sage of Eden

It universe is not like the City of Man, proud human,
you who think your harshness, cruelty that knows no
mercy is the norm among the stars: unlike your walls
the worlds are not devoid of love and life, of holy grace.

That you should turn towards God, be the vessel of
good things, be steward and co-creator: for this the Lord
filled you with His Spirit, and made an eternal covenant
with you, as if you were His equal, a friend and brother.

But you chose and choose each day to not be like Him,
but surpass and excel the perfect and the excellent God,
supplant Him (what folly!), topple Him from the throne
and sit yourself upon heaven from the earth you never left.

Yet take, and hold the heavy scepter, and remember
in one instant of our governance without divine grace
we decreed for self and generations disease and death,
and allowed into world sin’s entry through the serpent.

How good it is we were never gods, for we would be harsh
deities, without compassion, such that no flower could ever
live, for lack of sun and water. Death would be our sport,
life a rarity, if ever writ and cared for, the worlds would be bare.

To the begging mother, sick and barren, we would hurl
answer in miscarriage. To the beggar, cold and hungry,
we would cause each one to pass without notice as the
street filled with dirty snow: so vicious would be our reign.

We would not know how to love as God so loves the world,
our hearts have not yet learned even angelic concern and
care. We would fast get tired, let the universe wreck itself,
some fatal error to make all good wilt: for to err is human.

But to correct is divine, to love and serve, to hope and
forgive is good and Godly: to remember one’s promise
in spite of endless spite and infidelity, and self turn from
problem into answer, that is to seek the Holy Perfect One.

Then, I hope, we shall submit and cling to our Master,
the good and understanding Teacher, be not the god we
never can be, but the people we were meant to be:
a priestly nation, first in Creation, the People of Life.