Dante Dilettante

Hope springs eternal on New Year's Day
Nineteen Fourteen,
And all sing Auld Lang Syne;
But Hell sings infernal songs (who hears, pray):
"Till a' ye see's gangrene, my boys,
A' ye see's grangene,
And I will have ye here, my boys,
Where a' ye see's gangrene."

Thus the red rose burns and has for thee
The subtle stench of blasphemy,
And bell's chime
Is Hell's crime
And the bell tolls for thee:
A virgin child,
So weak and wild,
A lamb to the slaughter;
Blinking blind,
Fumbling find
And kiss the devil's daughter;
A debutant dilettante,
Into Hell to follow Dante
And dance the deadly dance;
And so Sassoon,
So soon, Sassoon,
You join the necromance.

And not
In fear, no
Story worries you.
See no evil,
Speak no evil,
Infer no evil:
Glory hurries you.

So they cheered as you marched to war,
A jingo jangled cavalier,
But sneered the sign above the door:
"Abandon hope who enters here."
And so Sassoon,
So soon, Sassoon,
In nightmare you're awake
With senseless insommeniacs,
Marneiacs, La Monsiacs,
A sight fair for a wake.

But the soldier is a mystic,
Foiling foolish fashion,
And redeemed and realistic,
Perceives poetic Passion;
And Siegfried freed
From Wagnerian curses
With sacred seed
Despair disperses.

Upsurge surgery!
Open heart purgery
Puts perjury to flight,
And purgatorial seeking,
Falsehood forsaking,
Finds paradismal light!

And so Sassoon,
So soon, Sassoon,
You lurch triumphant,
And find the key
To liberty
From the search circumferent

And as you turn the key
You learn to see
That it unlocks
The paradox
Of Paradise.

The chance to cease
Life's labour's test,
He grants you Peace,
Ite, missa est.

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Joseph Pearce is a Catholic author and biographer who has written about subjects as various as GK Chesterton, economics, and Shakespeare. His latest book, Race with the Devil, chronicles his conversion from racial hatred to Catholicism. He is also the Director of the Center for Faith & Culture and as Writer-in-Residence at Aquinas College in Nashville as well as the editor of St. Austin Review.

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