A Pastor and a Poet by Thomas Banks

A Pastor & a Poet

David's Crown: Sounding the Psalms by Malcolm Guite

It is a rare man who is called to the offices both of poet and minister. Even if the history of verse does turn up an occasional Herbert or Hopkins, the two talents seldom join in the same person. This is not necessarily regrettable; the man of the cloth, with his duty to admonish and edify, and the man of the pen, seldom famous for his moral qualifications, are by nature vines of different soils, and to graft one onto the other has
resulted mainly in unhappy vintages.

In the reign of Henry the Fourth, one John Lydgate, a monk of Bury St. Edmunds, wrote at the behest of the Prince of Wales his Troy Book, a curious and interminable production that has found few modern readers. A modern encyclopedist sums up his merits mercifully with the statement that "he was no Chaucer."


Thomas Banks lives in North Carolina and teaches online at the House of Humane Letters. His poems, translations, and essays have appeared in First Things, The New English Review, Quadrant, The Imaginative Conservative, Crisis Magazine, The St. Austin Review, and other publications.

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more on poetry from the online archives

more from the online archives

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32.1—January/February 2019

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