(The King James Bible was commissioned at the beginning of 1604)
A castrato sings to please the language he encounters
voluptuous as a harem girl,
Rhythmic movements for an absent king.
Scholars raised for King James a holy script
from ancient Greek and Hebrew text,
The whole show royally underwritten;
No blind pauper saint hunting for a verbal crumb
in the alleys of the damned.
A framework set to stage an epoch
laid in exquisitely chosen words
to satisfy the patron and glorify the age.
Such skills at the service of an empire
will never be ignored, nor such rhetoric fade.
The wilderness was in the pages marked;
Not lived by the learned scribe
deliberating on the weight of the chosen form.
It lay at their feet to arise a startling beauty,
Perfected from head to toeby the mental labours of a host of appointed men.