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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Liturgy for the Nativity of Thomas Hardy (1840)

Archdruid: Forasmuch as there may or may not be a god, we come together to give thanks, or merely to reflect thankfully, on the life of Thomas Hardy, of Upper Bockhampton, Dorset. Lover of the countryside, folk song, traditional tales and pretty young girls.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles: He fancied the a*** off me, I tell 'ee.

All: Tess! For shame! Where did you learn words like that?

Tess of the D'Urbervilles: Look, 'ee don't spend 120 years in Literary Character Purgatory without learning some choice language, I'll tell 'ee. That Sergeant Troy knows some stuff...

All: OK, moving on.

Archdruid: I would like, if I may, to read this little poem wot I wrote in the manner of Thomas Hardy...

The Fluffy Bunny

Oh Bunny much missed, how you hopped on the lawn,
Hopped on the lawn.
Reflecting, well-natured, the plight of all nature
Born to freedom, yet doomed to live the days of your life in a cage
In a cage.
Yet snatching at the brief liberty in that fading sunlight,
the smell of privet yet hanging in the air 
like the memory of an old love, now dead and gone as we all shall be.

Oh Bunny much missed, how you gazed at that lettuce
Gazed at that lettuce.
Hoping that, though all life is shorter than were your ears, 
you might yet grasp one brief moment of joy, the succulent leaves
succulent leaves.
Yet myxomatosis took you when you least expected,
we had to hit you with a big stick
and now you're down the bottom of the garden with all the others.

All: For Pete's sake, Eileen. Wasn't the real thing bad enough?

Canticle: To Hypothetical First Cause

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Merciless flinger of unending years
We bow before your blind gaze
Wondering at your total indifference.

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Merciless flinger of cruel misfortune
We wonder at the callous coincidence
which broke all your heroes and heroines.

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Merciless flinger of blight and plague
Yet still we don't understand
Why anyone would like Jude the Obscure.

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Slayer of Sweet Lizbie Brown
When we look at your trail of woe
We wonder if it's all strictly necessary.

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Crusher of those who feel too much
How can some people make you in the image
of One who's clearly better than you are?

Oh, hypothetical First Cause
Alleged breaker of the nations
If you're really there,
We're hoping you're really sorry. (But please don't take it out on us if we're wrong)


Archdruid: Go in the heartless indifference and terrifying randomness of this meaningless world, ever seeing the best but taking a good look at the worst.

All: And may the President of the Immortals have his sport. Only not too much. And preferably at someone else's expense.

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