Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MONKS OF THE SCREW, by JOHN PHILPOT CURRAN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MONKS OF THE SCREW, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When st. Patrick this order established
Last Line: And prior, and monks of the screw!
Subject(s): Clergy; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops

WHEN St. Patrick this order established,
He called us the 'Monks of the Screw';
Good rules he revealed to our Abbot
To guide us in what we should do.
But first he replenished our fountain
With liquor the best from on high;
And he said, on the word of a saint,
That the fountain should never run dry.

'Each year, when your octaves approach,
In full chapter convened let me find you;
And when to the convent you come,
Leave your favourite temptation behind you.
And be not a glass in your convent --
Unless on a festival -- found;
And, this rule to enforce, I ordain it
One festival all the year round.

'My brethren, be chaste -- till you're tempted;
While sober, be grave and discreet;
And humble your bodies with fasting,
As oft as you've nothing to eat.
Yet, in honour of fasting, one lean face
Among you I'd always require;
If the Abbot should please, he may wear it,
If not, let it come to the Prior.'

Come, let each take his chalice, my brethren,
And with due devotion prepare,
With hands and with voices uplifted,
Our hymn to conclude with a prayer.
May this chapter oft joyously meet,
And this gladsome libation renew,
To the Saint, and the Founder, and Abbot,
And Prior, and Monks of the Screw!

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