Caiaphas

To the Bishop of Lafayette in Indiana in defense of Father Rothrock

High Priest of Israel’s nameless God
__You were, and though came to possess
That charge upon the gentiles’ nod,
__It made you Aaron’s heir no less.

High Priest, upon that fateful night
__You sat at the Sanhedrin’s head
Beneath the lamps’ dim, flitting light
__To judge a man for what he said.

High Priest, that night before you stood
__The Cosmic Truth Itself made man,
Bound, battered, streaked with drying blood,
__Speaking the Truth your law would ban.

High Priest, you knew—you recognized
__The Truth before your eyes, yet balked.
Why else fear him? Why set a prize
__Upon His head? Why have Him stalked?

High Priest, you cannot dare deny
__You knew you saw Truth in Him there;
You would not say the Prophets lie,
__Whose writings were your trust and care.

High Priest, was it from hate or fear
__That you condemned the Truth to die?
Did you think Truth would disappear
__At your command to crucify?

High Priest, you placed your faith in Rome
__And Caesar, whom you strove to please;
And feared the raging mob would come
__For you if you refused its pleas.

High Priest, you felt the heaving quake
__Of mourning Earth the hour Truth died,
You saw the Temple’s stonework break,
__The Sanctuary’s veil divide.

High Priest, at that you must have known
__The Truth you killed would soon arise;
Why else have Pilate’s guards on loan
__To watch a body where it lies?

High Priest, why do you still resist
__The Truth you spurned and ordered killed?
You know He rose, so why persist
__When prophecy has been fulfilled?

High Priest, your lie calls down your fate:
__Your city sacked, your Temple burned
Your rites ceased while Truth reigns in state,
__Your soul in roiling hellfire churned.

 

 

Thermidor

An Ode to Reaction

I

The Dog-Star’s and the Lion’s days
Oppress with more than searing rays:
Fear grips the land, her demons gnaw,
__Loosed in a frenzied craze
__Now made the only law.

The sweltering midsummer heat,
The rays that mercilessly beat
Make blood flow hot and fast with rage;
__Rouse the bowed to their feet,
__To burst their self-forged cage.

Chorus:
O Thermidor, hot Thermidor,
Your blazing tropic days restore
__A reeling world to life and sense
__With new-found will for self-defense.

II

Far too long has the Terror reigned
Far too long have her henchmen stained
The once-fair streets with guiltless blood.
__No innocence remained
__To stave the crimson flood.

Far too long have we borne her curse,
The manic frenzy to reverse
The ways, the faith that bound us all.
__To die could not be worse;
__To live demands its fall!

Chorus:
O Thermidor, fair Thermidor,
When even cowards fear no more,
__When even women rise to arms
__To right the toll of endless harms.

III

Then like this summer afternoon
When sun-seared bodies wilt and swoon
Until a thundercloud swells high
__And the wide Heavens soon
__Grows dark as it comes nigh,

Then it lets loose a rushing gale,
Hurls thunder, lightning-bolts, and hail,
And pours deluging torrents down;
__So shall our wrath prevail!
__So shall our vengeance drown!

Chorus:
O Thermidor, bright Thermidor,
When long-withheld grief bursts to pour
__Out with the raging tempest’s force
__Upon the heads that were its source.

IV

Let loose the cry: To arms! Arise!
Proclaim it to the highest skies!
From windows, rooftops, crossroads, say:
__The realm of fear and lies
__Now dies. This is our day!

Take up the pitchfork, spade, and club!
Into the streets! March! Seize and drub
All traitors who dare block our way!
__With every blow we scrub
__The Terror’s stain away.

Chorus:
O Thermidor, fierce Thermidor
The Terror’s minions shrink before
__The forces your bright days have stirred
__Upon the Fates’ and Angels’ word.

V

Seize the vile criminals who made
Terror our queen, the land afraid.
Now let them fear, then let them die
__Beneath the very blade
__That was their joy to ply.

The blade falls; vengeful justice strikes!
Now lift the bloody heads on pikes!
“Hurrah! Hurrah!” resounds the cheer.
__Onward! So must their likes,
__Their allies perish here.

Chorus:
O Thermidor, just Thermidor,
High time to settle this, our score—
__No! Rather, to let Truth, and Fate
__Spell doom, and Justice vindicate!

VI

The Revolution eats her own!
Her sons now reap what they have sown!
Thus always to the Demon’s brood!
__And ever be it known
__How they fell once we stood.

Let all the Terror’s minions fear!
Let them quake as our wrath draws near!
Her righteous twin, aglow in white,
__Thrusts forth her sword and spear
__By blood to set wrong right.

Chorus:
O Thermidor, sweet Thermidor,
How much shall bounteous Fructidor
__Owe to your rains of tyrants’ blood
__That irrigates our native mud!

VII

The terrorizers’ blood is shed,
The Revolution’s hordes lie dead.
Now we at last breathe truly free,
__Without that beast to dread,
__The ape of liberty.

It lived and perished by the sword,
For flouting order, God, and Word.
Up from the wreckage, let us build,
__Raise up a world restored
__That mad rage nearly killed.

Chorus:
O Thermidor, great Thermidor,
Your name shall live forevermore,
__A doubt to make each tyrant quake,
__A rock against which mobs shall break,
__A time when revolutions shake
And perish in their gore.
O Thermidor, our Thermidor!

 

 

Adam Sedia (b. 1984) lives in his native Northwest Indiana, with his wife, Ivana, and their children, and practices law as a civil and appellate litigator. In addition to the Society’s publications, his poems and prose works have appeared in The Chained Muse Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and other literary journals. He is also a composer, and his musical works may be heard on his YouTube channel.


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12 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    I just found out about Father Rothrock.
    Your poem to his bishop is brilliant, and as precise as a laser beam.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      As is “Thermidor” –
      bravo, Mr. Sedia.

      Excellent poetry!

      Reply
  2. Leo Zoutewelle

    Adam, these poems are not just beautiful, they are awesome!
    Thank you!
    Leo

    Reply
  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    Bishop Timothy Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana is a gutless coward. In this respect he is not much different from the vast bulk of the Catholic Novus Ordo hierarchy, who have supinely submitted to the Black Lives Matter bullies.

    Reply
  4. Margaret Coats

    Adam, the best word for these poems is “magnificent” because they are doing great things. “Caiaphas” calls out a bishop of your own region in a work that not only describes the offense, but explains the knowledge behind it, and thus the culpable consent given. “Thermidor” with subtitle points up the history lesson of the Thermidorian Reaction, an occurrence whose name I just learned, although I had known about some of the events. It is sobering that this is being published one revolutionary week (10 days) before the July 17 anniversary of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne, who explicitly intended to offer their lives for the end of the Terror–as there was just one revolutionary week between their sacrifice and its end. Facis magnalia.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Do you know Nesta Webster’s detailed book on the French Revolution?

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        No, I don’t. Is this a recommendation?

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Yes, it’s an excellent study of every detail of the French Revolution and the many persons and political movements within it. The book’s title is The French Revolution, but you’ll have to get a used paperback reprint copy from one of the on-line book services like Alibris or ABE Books, since it was published around 1920.

        I included most of the chapter on the genocide in the Vendee (and on the general revolutionary plan to depopulate France) in a past issue of TRINACRIA. Mrs. Webster spares no details, and she was a solid scholar and researcher.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    Adam,

    The first poem was a powerful indictment of the weak bishop, who should soon be swept off the chessboard, with the help of your lawyerly brief.

    The second poem was simply powerful, but also subtle in its use of phrases & tropes such as “the ape of liberty” and “a rock against which mobs shall break.” I find your declamatory posture throughout to be entirely appropriate. Your outrage is palpable and well expressed, to put it mildly.

    Reply
  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Truly moving poetry. I admire the detail that has gone into both pieces, and the powerful sentiment portrayed. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Adam Sedia

    Thank you all for the comments and feedback. It always means a lot to me.

    Reply

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