Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tales of Willie the Bard and George

Feast of Saint George, Martyr
Patron of England, Barcelona, Malta, Genoa, Portugal, Germany, Valencia, Aragon, Sicily, Greece, Canada, Catalonia, and Lithuania
Also: archers, armorers, butchers, Boy Scouts, equestrians, farm workers, and knights
His glorious combat at Diosopolis or Lydda in Palestine all Churches of East and West celebrate from antiquity.

Today's Word:
Acts 5:27-33 (Peter: "We must obey God rather than men")
Psalm 34:17-20 (When the just cry out, the Lord hears them)
John 3:31-36 (The One who comes from heaven is above all)

Hear ye! Hear ye!

The Honorable Richard M. Daley, Lord Mayor of Chicago, hath proclaimed this day "Talk Like Shakespeare Day." Yay, verily!

The renowned Bard of Avon was born 445 years ago today. Coincidentally, it is also the 393rd anniversary of his death.

I'm not going to carry on quotething Shakespeare; if I wanted to do that, I'd visiteth the Bristol Renaissance Faire this summer.

But 2B - or not 2B - that is the question! (Or it was the first year my wife and I were married; we lived in Apartment 2B.)

Anyway, English speaking Christians owe Will some gratitude for his ability to turn a phrase. It would influence writing for several generations afterward.  He lived at the time the second major translation of the Bible was made in the English language, the 'Authorised' Version of 1611; the first, the Great Bible, was commissioned by Henry VIII. It was more commonly named for the reigning British monarch who authorized it, King James I:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
      he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:
      he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
      for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
      I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
      thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
      thou anointest my head with oil;
      my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
      and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

(Psalm 23, King James Version)

Verily, I tell thee, 'tis still a thing of beauty, and a joy forever.

1 comment:

  1. Just so there's no confusion, Shakespeare didn't work on the translation of the KJV; that was the work of William Tyndale and others. Shakespeare's style, however, undoubtedly influenced those working on the original KJV translation, which began in 1604.