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HYMN 1

 

O body, strip off
that horrid old man,
before he puts on,
before he wears,
threadbare,
your bright new coat,
the one you put on
when you were baptised,
for it would hardly
be very wise
if, fresh as a rose,
he should be allowed
to wear you down ­
oh do what I say,
take him off before
with all his little ways
he puts you on.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

For, when you were baptised
the Lord made you young again,
you who were old.
The builder of life
built out of blood
a temple to live in.
If you could only
be full of the Lord
you would be a Paradise.
So do not open up
the door of the house
to that old man.

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

The Bible, using words,
Nature our feelings,
both of them are pleading,
between them is spreading
an ocean of sin ­
Nature cries out
to those without the Law,
the Bible to those
within;
Satan wounds,
they repair,
when we have sinned
compunction of soul
enters in.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

Scripture and Nature
scorn the rebellious,
heal the penitent,
judge the judge,
again and again.
They are always there,
always following
him who is young
in every generation,
he who is tireless,
the Evil One,
our constant companion,
always undermining us
every moment of the day.
But Scripture and Nature
too are young
in every generation.
They are beside
us, always.

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Listen to them,
Scripture and Nature, condemn
all of us!
the adulterous generation within the law
the unnatural without.
Form is deformed,
Nature is twisted
'til it disappears
and, where it was,
a cloud of vain desires ­
Listen to Scripture and Nature complain,
everything in Heaven and Earth is changed.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

The devil had a bright idea.
He took new silly Christians,
whispered in their ear the notion
that marriage is forbidden,
and he taught them freedom
from consciousness of sin.
Then he placed before them
beauty, like a flame.
The trap was well conceived.
For chastity too weak,
for marriage too ashamed,
they tumbled in.

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

If you are seized
by a robber in the field,
your nakedness revealed,
his violence is proof
that your chastity is safe
like the chastity of Sarah.
She remained chaste,
her will was not engaged,
even though she lay
in Pharaoh's arms.
So the will is a priest.
His innocence inside
has the power to purify
whatever on the outside
is defiled.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

Beware of wine,
wine that brought down
the great, the honourable
Noah, the victorious ­
he who prevailed
over the flood
he was in thrall
to a skinful of wine.
The Deluge, attacking him
outwardly, failed;
the wine inwardly ­
his nakedness was shown.
If it overcame
the father of humanity
and made him ridiculous,
how much the more
will you be put to shame,
a poor, defenceless woman,
who is living alone?

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

O beware
the wine that rolled about
Lot's head, when
his daughters stole from his fertility
his grandchildren.
That was an exploit, but virginity
is stolen easily, O beware!
The young girls and the wine
broke the old man's integrity.
Your integrity too is old, you bear
centuries of tradition that could be
broken in a moment of time
by the young men. By wine.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

A man drunk on wine
is a better companion
than one who is drunk
on sensual love.
His chains wrapped
round him, he has no
uprightness, if anyone
upbraids him,
he does not care.
Rebuke is a pleasure,
he loves to be abused
and spittle on his face
he counts as dew.

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

The gates of his ears,
both of them are open,
the wind passes freely
from one to the other,
it carries whatever
you might happen to say.
His teacher thinks
he is listening carefully
but there's no room
in his heart for the lesson,
the wind has taken it
and carries it away.

Only the chaste can see
the beauty of the Trinity

 

For the great kingdom
that once was his reason
is cramped and congested,
closed and unreal,
since one drop of love
has taken possession,
become a great ocean,
he turns and he twists
like a sailor in the sea
when his ship has been lost,
his thoughts are tossing
in the waves of his passion
like flotsam and jetsam
or a boat whose captain
is dead at the wheel.

Only the clean inherit
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.