The Lay of the European Minstrel

Hush’d is the harp: the Minstrel gone.
And did he wander forth alone?
Alone, in indigence and age,
To linger out his pilgrimage?
No; close beneath proud Newark’s tower,
Arose the Minstrel’s lowly bower;
A simple hut; but there was seen
The little garden hedged with green,
The cheerful hearth, and lattice clean.
There shelter’d wanderers, by the blaze,
Oft heard the tale of other days;
For much he lov’d to ope his door,
And give the aid he begg’d before.
So pass’d the winter’s day; but still,
When summer smil’d on sweet Bowhill,
And July’s eve, with balmy breath,
Wav’d the blue-bells on Newark heath;
When throstles sung in Harehead-shaw,
And corn was green on Carterhaugh,
And flourish’d, broad, Blackandro’s oak,
The aged Harper’s soul awoke!
Then would he sing achievements high,
And circumstance of chivalry,
Till the rapt traveller would stay,
Forgetful of the closing day;
And noble youths, the strain to hear,
Forsook the hunting of the deer;
And Yarrow, as he roll’d along,
Bore burden to the Minstrel’s song.

-Walter Scott


With the exception of his poem “El Dorado,” which is usually only seen in children’s poetry anthologies, I never cared much for the prose and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. Like Shakespeare and Dostoevsky he sees the dark side of human existence: the evil that men do and the evil that they yearn to do in their inmost hearts, but unlike Shakespeare and Dostoevsky Poe doesn’t see the light that is also in human hearts. It’s quite significant that Poe, who was ignored by his own countrymen, was lionized by the decadent French symbolists who regarded him as the first modern poet. I don’t know if he was the first modernist, but he certainly was modern in his sensibility, and that is what kept him, despite great technical virtuosity, from being a great poet. But since it is the spirit of modernity that has led the white man to the dark tower of negro worship, it might be helpful to look more closely at the works of Edgar Allan Poe and then see if there is an antidote for modernity or, to paraphrase Poe’s biblical quote from “The Raven,” to see if there is a balm in Gilead.

Most men do not have the burden of vision; they do not see life as the poet does. Perhaps it is better that way, or else the work of the world could not go on. But then again men must, even the most material-minded of men, have a vision of something more than this world if they are to continue functioning in this world. Maybe they only need a glimpse of the vision, but they do need it. It is up to the poet to provide that vision for his people. He needs to be the brave man who dreams dreams and sees visions. But what if the poet’s dreams are nightmares and his vision is a vision of hell? Then the people perish for want of light.

Poe’s vision of darkness was not his vision alone; a poet’s vision is never just his own solitary vision. Poe saw the coming conflict within the European people, between the religion of cosmic nature and Christianity, and he internalized that conflict within his own soul. Nowhere is the conflict more visible than in Poe’s poem, “The Raven.” With mathematical certainty, the Raven informs Poe that the dead do not rise, and he shall “nevermore” see his lost love. King Lear says something similar, “Never, Never, Never…” about his daughter Cordelia’s death, but in the case of Lear we do not get the sense that it is over; we feel that Cordelia’s death is an apotheosis, not a mathematical endgame.

“The Raven” is a perfect poem, mechanically speaking, but that is the problem with it. It is too mathematically perfect. Indeed, Poe was supposed to have been a double genius, poetical and mathematical, who did complex problems in geometry for amusement. But mathematical genius is not of the spirit; it is pedestrian and mundane and should not be blended with or given an ascendancy over poetical genius. In Poe’s case the ascendancy of math over poetry is obvious. The Raven’s mathematical, evil genius overcame the craven Poe’s poetical genius just as Mr. Hyde overcame Dr. Jekyll.

Stevenson, who was born one year after Poe’s death, also saw the ongoing war between the scientistic/mathematical European and the poetical European. But Stevenson rejected the Raven’s “Nevermore”; where Poe saw only darkness, Stevenson saw the light that shineth in darkness. If only Poe had remained true to the spiritual quest of the knight in “El Dorado” as Stevenson remained true to his dear land of storybooks, then he would have given his people a vision of the living God instead of a nightmarish vision of hell.

What Poe saw in his nightmarish vision was a natural world devoid of God’s grace. The Raven’s “Nevermore” was the answer that mathematical nature always gives to mortal men. And Poe, quite understandably, despaired because he thought his beloved would never come back to him. He could not be consoled by the negro gods of nature because those gods were not in place yet. And even if they had been, I don’t think they could have filled the void in Poe’s soul. He was still of the “there is no God, everything is terrible” school, in contrast to the modern liberals who joyously proclaim the death of the Christian God and welcome in the new black gods.

People just yawn now when they read Poe’s tales and poems because his nightmarish underground world of horror and black despair has become mainstream. Why then, if Poe’s vision of the Raven upon his chamber door has become the vision of the modern world, do not the modern Europeans succumb to the same despair that Poe succumbed to? Are the modern Europeans spiritually superior to Poe? Are they able to look into the void without flinching? Hardly. They have managed to live their lives without facing the Raven’s ‘nevermore.’ Superficiality has proven to be a very good defense against Ravens who persist in rapping at one’s chamber door. The moderns can yawn at Poe’s tales because they don’t take his vision of existence seriously. The liberals’ have the negro to comfort them, and the grazers have the many and varied opiates of modernity to ease them through life. To look at Poe’s vision of life, and take his horrific vision seriously, would be a step up for the liberal and the grazer. Then they would have to choose, Christ or the abyss.

While it’s perfectly true that Christ is the balm in Gilead, telling a modern European raised on opiates and negro worship that Christ is risen and we no longer need to fear the Raven’s “Nevermore” is like expecting a person who has only seen the last scene in Hamlet to understand the play. Christ, the warrior bard who loved His people with a love that passeth the understanding of the human mind, has been buried for so long by pin-headed theologians and solemn philosophical undertakers that His divine charity, which once warmed the European hearth fires and enflamed our hearts, has been forced out of this world, remaining only as a racial memory in the hearts of we few, we Europeans, who still hear the minstrel’s lay. The song of the European minstrel trumps the Raven’s “Nevermore.” “Evermore, Evermore” is the Minstrel’s lay, “the cross of Christ is the tree of life.”

It should be writ large in our hearts that wherever rationalism raises its venomous, snake-like head, negro worship will follow. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in church or state, rationalism is the Raven, the contemplation of dumb nature, which leads to the worship of the negro. The modern conservative and the liberals are rationalists therefore they both, despite petty differences, worship the negro. Neither side defines nature as Burke defined nature:

We know, and it is our pride to know, that man is by his constitution a religious animal; that atheism is against, not only our reason, but our instincts; and that it cannot prevail long. But if, in the moment of riot, and in a drunken delirium from the hot spirit drawn out of the alembic of hell, which in France is now so furiously boiling, we should uncover our nakedness, by throwing off that Christian religion which has hitherto been our boast and comfort, and one great source of civilization amongst us, and amongst many other nations, we are apprehensive (being well aware that the mind will not endure a void) that some uncouth, pernicious, and degrading superstition might take place of it.

For that reason, before we take from our establishment the natural, human means of estimation, and give it up to contempt, as you have done, and in doing it have incurred the penalties you well deserve to suffer, we desire that some other may be presented to us in the place of it. We shall then form our judgment.

The modern man, addicted to psychiatry and porno, thinks we have no instincts but animal instincts and our reason is a tool to further the ends of our animalistic appetites. The law of the Jungle prevails, which is why the man-god of the Jungle, the noble negro savage who has not been polluted by the religion of the God-Man, is the god of our new, natural, utopian world.

Nature in the raw has no appeal to me. An ocean is just a large body of water until it connects with a coastal town in Wales or a sleepy fishing village in Maine. I could care less about an aesthetically pleasing forest or mountain in Africa, but my heart soars when I view the dark forests of Germany or the Swiss Alps. Why? Thomas Moore said it best:

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet;    
Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,              
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.   

Yet it was not that nature had shed o’er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green;      
’Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill,      
Oh! no—it was something more exquisite still. 

’Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near,           
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear,           
And who felt how the best charms of nature improve,  
When we see them reflected from looks that we love. 

Sweet vale of Avoca! how calm could I rest         
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best,        
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease,         
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace.

My people! The friends of my bosom. What have they done that they should be condemned and set aside for slaughter? They brought forth the Christ Child. Just as Mary’s blessed acceptance of the incarnate Lord set the Christ story in motion, so did my people’s acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Kinsman set the story of Christian civilization in motion. It’s ridiculous to say human beings are mere puppets, manipulated by God. He has given us the freedom to reject His grace. And the Europeans did not reject His grace, they asked Him to come and dwell amongst them. God bless them for it. All that I am and what faith I have is because they, the friends of my bosom, were willing to be channels of grace for Christ the Lord. I love them; they are my good and noble kinsmen, who showed me the face of Jesus Christ.

It’s not a little thing, the marriage between Christ and the European people. Without it, we are doomed to hear, over and over again, the cold, heartless Raven, pronouncing his death sentence on mankind, “Nevermore.” “The dead shall not rise,” is what negro-worshipping Liberaldom is all about, Charlie Brown. And, “Death is swallowed up in victory,” is what Christian Europe is all about. The struggle does availeth. To God goes the glory, forever and ever, Amen. +

This entry was posted in Fairy tale mode of understanding, Older posts (pre-April 2019), Poets vs philosophers, Rationalism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.