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CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE Julian, in her Cell: 1405 Streaks of cloud, a strange occluded sunomen for storm by evening. I should summon my scribe: the day leans already from its height and yet my mind's sight is deviled by the image of a king-how leaderly he acts. I see him playing the religious man, called by God to battle. Bishops at his flanks and France named once again the enemy. He performs it well, but my memory runs to Herod and the murmur of usurper reaches even my lonely door. Shall we have another year of war? The age of emperor ruled long in Rome-it is written: when statesmen looked to Olympus for their crowns, the cities beneath them burned. I must rise from this window, turn again to my script, but the sky darkens as I watch. Look how the swallows swirl-an illumination, a book of hours, a rumor of invasion in their wings. But this is no era of prophecy, no time of vision, no day to give advice to those who grieve or fear or love. The world's word says render unto Caesar what is God's, says sin 281 282 CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE lives within resistance to power, says silence is the sign of all true subjects. Do not be deceived: the devil appeared to me in smoke and fire, and as I watched, breathed a pageant into being: wealthy men and their sons of wealth, in rich, dark suits of office. I saw autumn in their eyes, and hell, and, look, now it begins to rain, just as the birds forecast, just as the sun promised. The boy in the garden is casting a sour look at heaven, just as the traveling players once did, to foretell a tragic future. SARAH KENNEDY ...


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pp. 281-282
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