Happy Feast Day of St. Jerome!

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God's angry man, His crotchety scholar,
Was Saint Jerome,
The great name-caller,
Who cared not a dime
For the laws of libel
And in his spare time
Translated the Bible.
Quick to disparage
All joys but learning,
Jerome thought marriage
Better than burning;
But didn't like woman's
Painted cheeks;
Didn't like Romans,
Didn't like Greeks,
Hated Pagans
For their Pagan ways,
Yet doted on Cicero all his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted
He scolded mankind
Sterner than Swift did;
Worked to save
The world from the Heathen;
Fled to a cave
For peace to breathe in,
Promptly wherewith
For miles around
He filled the air with
Fury and sound.
In mighty prose
For almighty ends,
He thrust at his foes,
Quarreled with his friends,
And served his Master,
Though with complaint.
He wasn't a plaster
Sort of saint.

But he swelled men's minds
With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds
To make a heaven.

-----Phyllis McGinley


I've always felt a strong bond with Jerome, the only saint I know of who had as irascible a temper and as poor an opinion as I have of mankind in general. Thanks for putting up the McGinley poem - I'd never seen that before.

Good old St. Jerome. I sometimes think I would like to have known him...and then I remember his general low opinion of humanity, and his caustic polemics.

The doggerel is quite amusing, too; it contains echoes of Ogden Nash's immortal "I Will Arise And Go Now."



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on September 30, 2005 12:33 PM.

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