Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Puritan's Progress

A celebration of The New World, as established in Jamestown 400 years ago this year and honored by We Make History.

Adapted From The Journals Of Chaplain Christopher Francis
Pictorial Assistance By John Cabot (as portrayed by Michael C.)
(Click any image for thy close-up)

Presented In Iambic Pentameter in Tribute to Shakespeare and Bunyan.

The windy voyage now complete and lo,
A merry Puritan am I, clothed in
Black and brown and eager for some dancing!
My friends bestow me with thy title Chaplain.
A preacher now? I shall honor God with
Joyous, num’rous steps of high refinement.

Our fellow voyagers have made it here,
Kind ladies and fine gentlemen stroll in.
Explorers meet and greet about thy room.
Chief Powatan in fully painted mirth.
His subjects all around him brave and strong.
Pocahontas in three persons, showing
Young girl, then older, then an English Lass!

A tribute to thy country of the now,
And then the watch wound back four hundred years
Promenade we all back to the time of
Newfound land and cur’ous native dwellers.
An unsure lady calmed with steady hand
Extended to her with a courtly bow
We very much enjoy Sellinger’s Round.

Thine eyes observe a Pilgrim woman to
Thy corner of thy hall. I waste no time
In off’ring her the opportunity
To share a dance and disprove myths long told
Of Puritan contempt for dances all.
Our many steps do surely show the world
We are not strangers to the land of joy
If though our brownish garb doth paint us blue.
We caper through the Fields of Frost and Snow.

To honour such the brave who came before,
We pay tribute with a re-enactment
Of first steps taken on the New World land
A cross over my shoulder as I walk,
Heavy and yet such a glor’ous burden.
All knees do bend upon the blessed Earth,
Prayers offered that the Gospel may spread forth
Across this new and wonderful country.

I share so many moments with such fine
And charming ladies of the lands afar.
I gaze into their eyes as my feet glide
O’er the ballroom. Come, let us be merry!
A bow with sweeping hand, a clap and turn,
And skip with grace amongst the couples all.
Such poise doth nourish health and spirit both.

The jigs are up! And we are all about,
Prancing about in freeform style, the lads
And ladies showing off their fancy feet,
Although the natives do prefer less bounce.
They sloweth down the pace, walking in style.
A low-impact sort of jig I cannot
Help but try to emulate, yet some shall
Recognize my steps as “Thy Egyptian.”

John Smith is spared by native Algonquians,
Young Pocahontas makes the saving cry!
Years later she would marry a John Rolfe.
All Haste to the fair Wedding, so we say.
Oh ‘tis my fav’ourite! But I smile too soon.
This version is but new and diff’rent than
Thy dance that I learned sev’ral years ago.
But still, my heart doth not complain, for I
Treasure learning with all its challenges.

A winner of thy contest? Oh, Huzzah!
Ten balls hath I attended, prize not won.
But unlike other winners drawn from lot,
I have my fact of history in mind,
No dance shall I perform to satisfy
Thy yearnings of the unforgiving ones,
Ye who delight watching solo jigs.
Mind must be exercised as sure as foot.

But be not laggard in ye steps or ye
Shall find no lady to engage for dance
When they shall cast thy footwear to thy floor,
Thy quick shall have the honour of first choice,
If thou can stand thy weight of rushing charge,
The glor’ous crush of noble gentlemen
Upon the back of one who halts too soon.

All is wond’rous, yet so tiring, yet this
Pilgrim puzzles how thy time could slip so
Far so fast, and leave us at the end, too
Soon for many, but the ticking clock has
Brought us back into our modern lives and
Times yet with promise that the journey is
Not over, and we shall meet here again.

Click ye here for more images and words of celebration!

COMING IN JUNE: Shake Your Booty!

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