The Fire and the Treasure: A Rondeau for Laurence of Rome

And then they came to judgment. And he was inquired again of the treasures, and Laurence demanded dilation of three days, and Valerianus granted him on pledge of Hippolitus. And St. Laurence in these three days gathered together poor people, blind and lame, and presented them tofore Decius, in the palace of Salustine, and said: These here be the treasures perdurable, which shall not be minished, but increase, which he departed to each of them. The hands of these men have borne the treasures into heaven.
(From The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, trans. William Caxton)

Like treasures we are put through flame
And do not scorn the fire’s shame;
Like treasures, sent through fire to
Make our treasures pure, anew,
Subverting death’s despotic claim.

We bear the world’s hatred and blame
And are negated, yet this game
Does not control the fire we go to,
Like treasure.

This treasure which we bear: its name
Is called the Stench of Death, not Fame;
Though folly to proud hearts, still true.
These riches in the field call you
To give up all you own to claim
This treasure.

2 thoughts on “The Fire and the Treasure: A Rondeau for Laurence of Rome

  1. The rhyme is beguiling, and the message majestically delivered. This piece has the charm of the Victorian to it because of its structure and language. Indeed, so true, what you said.

    1. Thanks so much! I was happy with how this one turned out. It’s a tough message to get across and hard to write with complete honesty, but I’m really glad you liked it.

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