David

Advent usually seems to be the season for the writings of the Prophet Isaiah, but during some research for an application earlier this week I stumbled across one of the psalms of David which I had copied out in about 1992 when I was at university. Today it struck me as being “of the moment”. I wondered why I had copied out this particular psalm, and then found the reason: my hero poet Sir Phillip Sidney had put me onto David, not just as a Prophet and King of the Old Testament, not just as Slayer of Goliath, but as a Poet.

NPG 5732; Sir Philip Sidney by Unknown artist

by Unknown artist, oil on panel, circa 1576?

On a hand-out we were given in lectures at Glasgow,  there was a passage written by Sir Phillip Sidney in 1583 (I’ve kept to most of the original spelling but for easier reading have substituted “v”s for where the facsimile lent Elizabethan “u”s and “i”s for “j”s). “Vates” is an English/ Latin term for prophet and has etymological connections to the word “Bard”.

 

 

 

 

And may not I presume a little further, to shew the reasonablenes of this worde Vates? And say that the holy Davids Psalms are a divine Poem? If I doo, I shall not do it without the testimonie of great learned men, both auncient and moderne: but even the name Psalmes will speake for mee, which, being interpreted, is nothing but songes. Then that it is fully written in meeter, as all learned Hebrecians agree, although the rules be not yet fully found. Lastly and principally, his handeling his prophecy, which is meerely poetical. For what els is the awaking of his musicall instruments; the often and free changing of persons; his notable Prosopopeias, when he maketh you, as it were, see God coming in his Majestie; his telling of the Beastes joyfulness, and hills leaping, but a heavenlie poesie , wherein almost hee sheweth himselfe a passionate lover of that unspeakable and everlasting beautie to be seene by the eyes of the minde, onely cleared by fayth? 

IMG_7345

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: