Sunday, January 31, 2016


Sunday Morning

Gathered Leaves from the Prose of Mary E. Coleridge, with a Memoir by Edith Sichel (London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1910), p. 222 (June 3, 1888; ellipsis in original; Anodos was a pseudonym of the author):
Anodos had in his early youth a great liking for sermons. Not that he ever understood or remembered them, but the taste of them was sweet to his palate. It is not so now. He left Church this morning especially to avoid one. Outside the birds held Morningsong, and the wind that bloweth where it listeth preached out of St. John's Gospel, 'Thou canst not tell whence it cometh.' It might have been crisping the waves, ruffling the heather, scattering the powdery snow upon some distant Alp, before it folded its great wings, and fluttered peacefully down into that London Churchyard. .... I incline to think that it is not three people who make a congregation, but one. Alone, I am a host in myself; oppressed on every side by masses of yawning fellow-Christians, how can I be devout? (I am not.) Even if they are not yawning, what is the feverish excitement of a crowd hanging on the rhetoric of the local Vicar to the quiet Apocalypse of a solitary person under the sky among trees? 'The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth His handiwork.' After all, even a Cathedral declares the glory of Man.
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