Friday, 12 October 2012

Spain and El Cid: a Hero for Heroic Times

El Cid (OK, strictly Charlton Heston, but you know what I mean!)

What a hero for Spain, for Europe.

Just imagine if El Cid had not sacrificed so much no recapture Spain:

  • The Hispanisation of the Americas would never have happened (leaving those peoples to human sacrifice and evil paganism).
  • The Hapsburgs (via Don Juan of Austria) would not have led the Papal, and especially the feuding Genoese and Venetian forces at the Battle of Lepanto to save Europe from Turkish piracy and (literal) slavery.
  • The Spaniards would not have led the Counter Reformation at the Council of Trent (which codified the Tridentine/Latin Mass of All Time) and through their example and zeal for the Truth, winning back whole nations such as Poland and Hungary.
Some people seem to think of the Spanish as a lazy people, with their siestas and warm climes. Yet without them Europe would be by far the poorer, and Catholicism especially would have very many fewer souls under its care and protection.

So Hurrah for El Cid!

And OK... hurrah for Charlton Heston too.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

An Ode on the Golden Anniversary of William and Mary Hurley

50 years ago today young William brushed his hair,
007 was in the cinemas, he tried to match Bond's flair
With a sparkle in his eye, a skip and spring in his stride
He was headed off to a beautiful church to meet his beautiful bride.

Mary Loughlin was her maiden name and a fair maiden was she
She paced, and fretted and tried on her gown (and went for her 50th wee),
But fret not Mary for your Bill awaits, his flowing locks all kempt
No rich man's gilded riches to forestall her fate could tempt.

"Oh William is the man for me" she told all those who would listen,
"And even if many years from now his shiny head doth glisten:
I will love him all the more you see for the family God will give,
I dream of a cottage with roses nearby - in Fairwater we will live."

Some mop haired youth were on the wireless, singing Love Me Do.
But Mary paid no heed to them, Billy was her love so true.
Her face aglow, her heart a flutter she stood aside the Church gate.
The music inside was audible - she would always be fashionably late.

"Oh my Billy, oh William, oh Bill my true love" she cried aloud to the skies
"I will always love you, handsome young man, you are my greatest prize."
Onlookers smiled at such a sight, the young bride made it clear,
That in 30, no 40, no 50 years, she would stand by her Billy dear.

Oh good times would come and bad times too, to test their quality,
Tough times we can't imagine, but seen through cheerily,
By two such wonderful people, who took all that life could give,
And gave it back a hundredfold, yes they have truly lived.  

In Fairwater's leafy glades they settled: in Gorse Place, near to friends.
If anyone asked "whereabouts?" - we'd say "up the posh end."
And for wedded bliss, there's little doubt, they are the golden rule,
To scorn the ways of Bill and Mary you would have to be a fool.

Yes fifty years ago they made their oaths that would they stay
Together - and they kept their word, and did so till this day.
"And for many more" we all do cry and with a glass raised cheer:
"Billy and Mary Hurley"      --   (this poem's sponsored by Brains Beer).