But She Was a Queen of Men

The King looked up, and what he saw
Was a great light like death,
For Our Lady stood on the standards rent,
As lonely and as innocent
As when between white walls she went
And the lilies of Nazareth.

One instant in a still light
He saw Our Lady then,
Her dress was soft as western sky,
And she was a queen most womanly—
But she was a queen of men.

Over the iron forest
He saw Our Lady stand,
Her eyes were sad withouten art,
And seven swords were in her heart—
But one was in her hand.

—G.K. Chesterton, Ballad of the White Horse

I found a Youtube video of "Chant of the Templars" version of Salve Regina—it's actually from the Breviary used by them, at the Holy Sepulchre.

I like it. It sounds like Gregorian chant only more hardcore. It's got that Russian-like droning basso profundo there in the background, almost sounds like Gyudo monks.
Did you know that part of their ascetic practice was that they weren't allowed to hunt? Hunting being the main entertainment of knights at the time. Yes, with one exception: lions. Mainly because lions were a threat to the pilgrims they were charged with protecting, but also because they were Knights Freaking Templar and they were just that badass.

Have I told UbiSoft to go to hell lately? Because go to hell, UbiSoft.


Nicholas Trandem said...

The drone or orison was actually pretty common in chant throughout the western Church in the middle ages. There's a bit of a revival of it going on now. The F.S.S.P. Seminary in Wigratzbad recently had Sunday Vespers in Old Roman chant. Our schola is currently learning how to do it.

Sophia's Favorite said...

I'd suspected that first part, about the drone being common in the Middle Ages. Maybe because this chant sounds much more Eastern than Gregorian, and the East and West were more similar before the 13th century (in the First Crusade, it wasn't even considered remarkable for the Greeks and French to hear Mass/Divine Liturgy together, which it would be now).

penny farthing said...

That is so freaking cool! Both the poem and the chant. I have to read Ballad of the White Horse. It seems to be the most badass thing ever.