Since it’s his Feast Day…

Since it’s his Feast Day… September 30, 2019

And since I love cranky, crabby St. Jerome for showing that anybody can become a saint, I offer not only a great poem in his honor, but the incredible fact that Dion then turned that poem into a blues tune, which makes my heart happy.

The Thunderer
by Phyllis McGinley

God’s angry man, His crotchety scholar,
Was Saint Jerome,
The great name-caller,
Who cared not a dime
For the laws of libel
And in his spare time
Translated the Bible.

Quick to disparage
All joys but learning,
Jerome thought marriage
Better than burning;
But didn’t like woman’s
Painted cheeks;
Didn’t like Romans,
Didn’t like Greeks,
Hated Pagans
For their Pagan ways,
Yet doted on Cicero all his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted
He scolded mankind
Sterner than Swift did;
Worked to save
The world from the Heathen;
Fled to a cave
For peace to breathe in,
Promptly wherewith
For miles around
He filled the air with
Fury and sound.

In mighty prose
For almighty ends,
He thrust at his foes,
Quarreled with his friends,
And served his Master,
Though with complaint.
He wasn’t a plaster
Sort of saint.

But he swelled men’s minds
With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds
To make a heaven.


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