It’s a day late for the feast, but perhaps some of our small yet select readership might be interested in this poem to St Athanasius that I recently came acros. Despite the archaizing style, it seems from the content to be reasonably contemporary.
‘At Alexandria, the birthday of St Athanasius, bishop of that city, most celebrated for sanctity and learning. Amost all the world had formed a conspiracy to persecute him’ (from the Roman Martyrology for 2nd May)
Athanasius! Thou art living at this hour
Though night has seized and manned each highest tower
Where sons of light in opium’s pleasant power
Lie sleeping still, or ‘wake but speechless cower;
As once across the Alexandrine main
Thou gazed’st and saw’st the world dissolve again
In weakness, whom the true Son’s blessed pain
Had scarce delivered from the unclean reign.
For Him thou wander’dst then in every land.
The Gallic snows thou felt’st upon thy face
And lay’st concealed amid the pious sand
While Caesar’s thundering armies sought thy trace.
Five times a beggar, six times thou held’st the throne.
Father, but once, restore us to our own.