Constantinople

God and earth and the heavens ring, and Hagia Sophia also rings, that Great Monastery, with four hundred symandra* and sixty-two bells-a-pealing, for each bell there’s a priest, for each priest—a deacon.  The emperor sits on the left psalter-stand–the patriarch to the right, And from the great psalmology the supports were a-quaking.  “Sing now the Cherubic Hymn and let the emperor arise,”  cried out the voice from heaven, from the mouth of th’ Archangel:  “Stop singing now the Cherubic Hymn and put down the Holies, priests take the Holy Cup in hand and blow out the candles, for it is God’s will for Turks to take the City.  Only send a word to the Franks, for to come three ships-a-sailing; the first should take away the cross, the other the Evangelion, the third, the finest of the three, our holy altar table, so the dogs don’t surmount it and irreverently pollute it.”  The Lady was shaken up, the icons began weeping.  “Don’t fret Yourself, Our Lady and don’t weep so bitterly; with the passing of many ages, they will once again be Yours.”

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