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Saint Jacob Post by :imported_n/a Category :Poems Author :George Borrow Date :July 2011 Read :2734

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Saint Jacob

Saint Jacob he takes our blest Lord by the hand:
"I gladly would Christianize Garsia land."

"O how wilt thou bring it within Christian pale?
No ship hast thou here o'er the salt sea to sail."

"Thy power, O Lord, is so wondrously great,
Full quickly a ship Thou for me canst create."

"Saint Jacob, hie down to the salt ocean strand,
There standeth so little a stone by the land."

Saint Jacob he taketh a book in his hand,
And down he proceeds to the salt ocean strand.

Saint Jacob he made o'er the stone the cross-mark,
From the land straight it floated, as though 'twere a bark.

It rode o'er the billows so rapid and free,
Right, right towards Garsia promontoree.

So rapid the stone to glide thither began,
A hundred miles space in one short hour it ran.

In comes a foot-boy, to the King doffs his bonnet:
"Here cometh a stone, and a man sits upon it."

A woman rushed in, in her eyes wonder shone:
"Here cometh a man, and he sits on a stone."

King Garsia taketh his axe in his hand,
And down he proceeds to the salt ocean strand.

"Now hear thou, Saint Jacob, I say unto thee,
What hast thou in this land, in this land here with me?"

"Unto thee I am come to this land 'cross the brine,
Because that my Maker is greater than thine."

"O how can thy Maker be greater than mine?
Mine drinks every day the brown mead and the wine."

"O then my Creator is greater than thine,
For mine can the water convert into wine.

"My Maker can turn the black mould into bread,
Can give life back to them who long, long have been dead."

"If thou canst restore me my dearly loved son,
I'll trust in thy Maker, and no other one.

"If I again view him, with flesh and hair dight,
As he fifteen years since disappeared from my sight;

"If I get him again both with hawk and with hound,
Just, just as he sank in the depths of the sound;

"With hair on his head, and with flesh on his bone,
As though he the pang of death never had known."

Then the blessed Saint Jacob upon his book pored:
"'Twill be no easy matter to get him restored."

When he had stood reading a wee little time,
He raised up the man from hell's sorrowful clime.

"Now again thou hast got him with flesh and hair dight,
As he fifteen years since disappeared from thy sight.

"Thou hast got him again, both with hawk and with hound,
Just, just as he sank in the ocean profound.

"With hair on his head, and with flesh on his bone,
As though he the pang of death never had known."

"Now hear thou, my dear son, so fine and so fair,
What news from thy journey afar dost thou bear?"

"The news which I bring from the far distant place,
Is that one little knows of the other's hard case.

"There the woman, who's hated the child of her womb,
Out of the snake-tower can ne'er hope to come.

"There the cruel step-mother, her child who has slain,
Goes begirt with a sword fraught with festering bane.

"The merchants who here in heaps money up-rake,
There hiss in the likeness of serpent and snake.

"The Sysselmen, wretches with hearts hard as stone,
There in the snake-tower despairingly moan."


(The end)
George Borrow's poem: Saint Jacob

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