Transcribed from The City of the Grail & Other Verses by Henry E.G. Rope, M.A., London, 1923. Poet and Priest, friend and “chaplain” to Hilaire Belloc, Fr. Henry E.G. Rope has left behind him a rich little catalog of evocative stories, essays, and poems just waiting to be rediscovered. We have heard “he lived into his nineties, dying in about 1974 (???) rejecting the Novus Ordo theological and liturgical revolution. Sadly, his books are of the last rarity.” We are posting this particular poem of Father Rope’s in conjunction with our prayers at the start of this Lenten season in the hope that a True Catholic Pope will be acclaimed in the coming weeks.
THE BELOVED CITY
SHOULD I forget thee, O Pontific Rome,
O chosen city of the King of Kings,
City of refuge, Peter’s royal home.
Should I forget thee, O Pontific Rome,
Fair city that the living flood enrings,
Fast rock whereon the billows spend their foam
For ever vainly, evermore frustrate ;
O city, whose high places stand engirt
With angel armies that untiring wait
Each sign from heaven, headlong from the gate
To drive thy foe or suffer him exert
His malice for an hour infatuate.
O City of our God, O Citadel
Of life, amid a death-devoted age
Encompass’d by the banner’d host of hell,
Whose rout God’s chosen hour shall soon dispel,
Should I forget thee, suffrage none assuage
The penal years my thankless soul must tell.
Right soon the moment which the King hath set
For judgment shall thy royalty renew;
That royalty the world would fain forget
From long eclipse shall issue brighter yet.
O Holy City, who to thee is true
Unto the end, him will not God forget.