Translator's Prayer to St. Jerome

Forgive me, father figure. I have sinned
Better than you. I made my brother tongue
Spit from my mouth like a Septuagint.
The virgin poem now is merely young.

Forgive me for traducing, for committing
Conceits I spread through Sunday like a palm
For Him who rode my hunch into a city
That didn't even have a word for psalm.

Forgive me for a world that calls for sin,
Where treason is just reason's shibboleth,
Where goodness needs an evil origin,
And no messiah came of Nazareth

Without a blessed Judas to begin
Life in a kiss of necessary death.


  1. """Behold your mother." Jn. 19:27 Christ testified from the Cross, and divided the offices of piety between the mother and the disciple. The Lord made not only a public but also a private testament, and John signed this testament of His, a witness worthy of so great a Testator. A good testament not of money but of eternal life, which was written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, Who says: "My tongue is the pen of a quickly writing scribe." Saint Ambrose

  2. cum quibus quando non erat, quod perexiguum temporis erat, aut corpus reficiebat necessariis sustentaculis aut lectione animum. sed cum legebat, oculi ducebantur per paginas et cor intellectum rimabatur, vox autem et lingua quiescebant. saepe, cum adessemus -- non enim vetabatur quisquam ingredi aut ei venientem nuntiari mos erat -- sic eum legentem vidimus tacite et aliter numquam, sedentesque in diuturno silentio -- quis enim tam intento esse oneri auderet? Confessiones, VI, 3