My good friend Nathaniel Kidd, a son of the House with a rich, fuzzy beard and a pounding heart for God, was quarrying the archives of the stone Nashotah House library, and stumbled upon an old manuscript. Normally Nathaniel reads the Church Fathers in Greek, but this unique volume caught his eye. Blowing dust off the cover, he coughed and read the old script: Songs of the Cloistered Brethren. It’s a small book of verse by the Rev. L.V. Klose about devotion and worship at Nashotah House of yore. Another dear friend and fellow seminarian, Ben Jefferies, passed them along to me. He has a thick, rosy beard and a mind as sharp and quick as an industrial sewing machine. Here’s a picture of Ben and Nathaniel:

Read them slowly, and enjoy. They are from a time before Rock music, Vatican II, and (who knows?) the automobile. The Rev. Klose dedicated these fine poems to the Anglo-Catholic Brotherhood of Nashotah House. It is a great honor to share them with Nashotah House family and friends in a three-blog series about the life of the cloistered brethren. This first poem is about our beloved St. Mary’s Chapel, and more poems are on their way:

Nashotah Chapel

Deep hidden in the greenwood
By lake and crystal spring
The brothers have their chapel
With Christ enshrined as King,
And to Mary as His Mother
Their humble tributes bring.
The matins and the vespers
In unison are read,
Thrice daily on the altars
The Holy Mass is said
For the merit of the living
And to rest the holy dead.

The vigil lights are burning
In the chapel’s sacred shrine
Before the blessed Mary
And her only Son divine;
The brothers bring them flowers,
Mute offerings of prayer,
And garbed in habit of lowly
They find vocation there—
Knight-errants of the Master
Who guard the sacred shrine
They have left the world behind them
To heed a call divine,

In the silence of the forest
At work and play and prayer
A mystic, sweet communion
With saints and angels share;
And lusty rise their voices,
As though a single word,
As they chant their hymn of praises
To their blessed Christ and Lord,
Deep hidden in the greenwood
By lake and crystal spring
Where the brothers have their chapel
With Christ enshrined as King!


Read it in Nashotah House’s Blog.