Friday, 3 February 2017

The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1797)


That old sorcerer has vanished
And for once has gone away!
Spirits called by him, now banished,
My commands shall soon obey.
Every step and saying
That he used, I know,
And with sprites obeying
My arts I will show.


Flow, flow onward
Stretches many
Spare not any
Water rushing,
Ever streaming fully downward
Toward the pool in current gushing.
Come, old broomstick, you are needed,
Take these rags and wrap them round you!
Long my orders you have heeded,
By my wishes now I've bound you.
Have two legs and stand,
And a head for you.
Run, and in your hand
Hold a bucket too.


Flow, flow onward
Stretches many,
Spare not any
Water rushing,
Ever streaming fully downward
Toward the pool in current gushing.
See him, toward the shore he's racing
There, he's at the stream already,
Back like lightning he is chasing,
Pouring water fast and steady.
Once again he hastens!
How the water spills,
How the water basins
Brimming full he fills!


Stop now, hear me!
Ample measure
Of your treasure
We have gotten!
Ah, I see it, dear me, dear me.
Master's word I have forgotten!
Ah, the word with which the master
Makes the broom a broom once more!
Ah, he runs and fetches faster!
Be a broomstick as before!
Ever new the torrents
That by him are fed,
Ah, a hundred currents
Pour upon my head!


No, no longer
Can I please him,
I will seize him!
That is spiteful!
My misgivings grow the stronger.
What a mien, his eyes how frightful!
Brood of hell, you're not a mortal!
Shall the entire house go under?
Over threshold over portal
Streams of water rush and thunder.
Broom accurst and mean,
Who will have his will,
Stick that you have been,
Once again stand still!


Can I never, Broom, appease you?
I will seize you,
Hold and whack you,
And your ancient wood
I'll sever,
With a whetted axe I'll crack you.
He returns, more water dragging!
Now I'll throw myself upon you!
Soon, 0 goblin, you'll be sagging.
Crash! The sharp axe has undone you.
What a good blow, truly!
There, he's split, I see.
Hope now rises newly,
And my breathing's free.


Woe betide me!
Both halves scurry
In a hurry,
Rise like towers
There beside me.
Help me, help, eternal powers!
Off they run, till wet and wetter
Hall and steps immersed are Iying.
What a flood that naught can fetter!
Lord and master, hear me crying! -
Ah, he comes excited.
Sir, my need is sore.
Spirits that I've cited
My commands ignore.


"To the lonely
Corner, broom!
Hear your doom.
As a spirit
When he wills, your master only
Calls you, then 'tis time to hear it."


Translation by Edwin Zeydel (1955).



Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Ritual of the Norwegian Blue

The Ritual of the Norwegian Blue as performed by initiates of the Great Temple of the Sacred Water Lily (England) 2008.


All enter the temple hall flocking and then circling in a sun wise direction, all should be flapping their arms and making loud squawking noises.

Two officers approach the altar while the congregation flock in the centre, noise shall cease.

Officer#1 (questioner): “Look my lad, I’ve just about had enough of this. This parrot is definitely deceased.”

Officer#2 (keeper of the blue): “It’s probably pining for the fjords.”

Officer#1: “Pining for the fjords? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did it fall flat on its back the moment I got it home?”

Officer#2: “The Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on its back! Beautiful bird.”

Officer#1: “Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot and I discovered the only reason it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been nailed there.”

Officer#2 “Well, off course it was nailed there. Otherwise it would muscle up to those bars and vroom.”

Officer#1: “Look matey this parrot wouldn’t vroom if you put four thousand volts through it! It’s bleedin’ demised!”

Officer#2: “It’s not, it’s pining!”

Officer#1: “It’s not pining, it’s passed on. This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace.”

(Pause)

Officer#1: “If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up daisies. It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.”

Congregation:

“This parrot is no more, it has ceased to be.”
“This parrot is no more, it has ceased to be.”
“This parrot is no more, it has ceased to be.”

Officer #1 & #2 in unison:

“Bereft of life, it rests in peace.”

All exit in silence pining for the fjords.


This ritual is based upon the sermon delivered to the faithful by the prophets Cleese, Idle, Jones, Chapman, Palin and Gilliam.

First published in Silver Wheel volume 2 (2010) © D. B. Griffith 2008.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

T. REX: RIDE A WHITE SWAN


Ride it on out like a bird in the sky ways
Ride it on out like you were a bird
Fly it all out like an eagle in a sunbeam
Ride it on out like you were a bird


Wear a tall hat like a druid in the old days
Wear a tall hat and a tattooed gown
Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane
Wear your hair long, babe you can't go wrong


Catch a bright star and a place it on your fore-head
Say a few spells and baby, there you go
Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder
And in the morning you'll know all you know, oh


Wear a tall hat like a druid in the old days
Wear a tall hat and a tattooed gown
Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane
Wear your hair long, babe you can't go wrong
Da-da-da-di-di-da, da-da-da-di-di-da.




Sunday, 8 January 2017

TO BE A PILGRIM BY JOHN BUNYAN (ALTERNATIVE WORDING)


He who would valiant be,
'Gainst all disaster.
Let him, in constancy,
Follow the Master.


There's no discouragement,
Shall make him once relent.
His first avowed intent,
To be a pilgrim!


Alternative wording of “To be a Pilgrim” is from the Anthony Bek Primary School of Pleasley on the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire border.

Wording kindly provided by Anastasia Wilkie, a former pupil 1971 – 1976.