A Flashback in Orthodox History, Featured Essay, Monthly Newsletters, Poetry Column, Saint of the Month

The Lay of St. Nicholas

The Lay of St. Nicholas

Written By: Holden Hooper

Issue: Set to Appear in the Special Christmas Edition of the Newsletter


May we memorialize / the mighty man of Myra,

Who nobly named Nicholas / is noted for his noble life.

Proceeding from the privileged / paternity of Patras,

Fulfilling his forerunners focus / for the furtherance of family ,

They chose after his childbirth to cling / to continence for celestial citizenship.

When once getting washed the well-spoken / wee one proclaimed his wise will,

To drink once during the biweekly fast days / from the daily nourishing drink of his dame.

Amidst his young years he would oft / yearn to frequent the church oft without yielding,

Rather than riveting the riddles of kids / he would ruminate over religious writ regularly.

Once when walking about Nicholas overheard his noble neighbor,

Who was planning on selling his daughters into sin for his wealth.

Nicholas planned to stop this by throwing some of his family’s wealth through their window,

And so through the bag of gold the oldest daughter was rescued from unchaste slavery.

Nicholas secretly repeated this twice more in order to rescue the other 2 daughters,

The third time Nicholas awoke the man who ran out and found the generous giver.

The man kneeling down thanked Nicholas and would have kissed his feet,

But the holy man told him not to tell or share this as long as he lived.

After the Myran Bishop had died the other bishops gathered for counsel,

They decided that the first person named nicholas to walk into church will be made Bishop.

At matins Nicholas arove first at Church, and after asking for his name and finding out,

The bishops knew that this was the man for the episcopate of Myra.

While Nicholas was negotiating at Nicaea, 3 nautical sailors were in trouble,

They called out to him and a man in his bearing arose helping them and the tempest ended.

In Myra there was a great famine that covered the land,

And a fleet of ships arrived in the port filled with Alexandrian wheat.

Nicholas told the sailors that it would be truly mete to leave 400 bushels of wheat,

Per ship so that the people of Myra would have some food to eat.

The sailors agreed to do as Nicholas told them in order to feed the Myrans for 2 years,

And in miraculous feat all the wheat that they gave was miraculously replaced,

Which when the ruler of Alexandria found out he did not give the sailors beat.

In the land there were still some blindly foolish pagans who worshipped Diana and her tree,

Nicholas ordered that the tree be chopped down and pagan customs to no longer be.

Diana was then down-right infuriated and devised and devilish plan,

A oil was made that would inflame when used even against stone, water, and land.

Diana then dressed up as a religious woman and boarded a boat filled with holy pilgrims,

Then giving the oil to the pilgrims she told them to anoint Nicholas’s church with it.

Then she vanished but another boat sailed by with one person with the likeness of Nicholas,

He asked them what the lady had said and done and they told Nicholas what had occurred.

He then told the group of confused pilgrims to throw the oil into the sea,

And immediately upon hitting the wet waves the oil burst into flames that all could see.

There is also a story how once when rebellion against Constantine was happening,

That 3 princes went to dine with that most holy hierarch.

Whilst eating it was found that the consul wanted 3 knights to be beheaded,

So Nicholas took his 3 guests to go talk to consul who headed the town.

It turned out that the 3 princes were those knights who were to say good night to life,

But when they were hooded Nicholas took the sword out of the executioner’s hands.

Nicholas talked to the wicked consul and convinced him to release these princes,

The consul decided to follow the advice and repented with full convince.

After this another one of the emperors official’s accused them of high treason,

For it was jealousy of the three princes riches that was his reason.

Whilst laying in prison the 3 of them called out to Nicholas for his help,

Nicholas then appeared to Constantine in a dream telling him to release the 3 princes or there would be great defeat and a supernatural skelp.

The next day constantine released the 3 princes since Nicholas had him swayed,

And when they returned home they thanked Nicholas for his aid.

And when it pleased God to have Nicholas depart from the world he sent angels,

Who sang and delivered his soul up with praise and talk of the great evangel.

Buried in his bishopric of Myra with sweet smelling flowing miraculous oil,

He was moved to Bari after Turks destroyed Myra after much military toil.

St. Nicholas has answered many prayers even to this day,

And that is the end of this amateur poetical lay.


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