Today is the anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pope...

Whose work is out of style at the moment but for those who love his verse it's a grand day. Fr Hunwicke brought this to our notice (and it's the anniversary also of his ordination as a deacon in the Anglican Church). From Pope's An Essay on Criticism:

Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glittering thoughts struck out at every line;
Pleased with a work where nothing's just or fit;
One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit.
Poets, like painters, thus, unskilled to trace
The naked nature and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True wit is nature to advantage dressed;
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed;
Something, whose truth convinced at sight we find
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit
For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perish through excess of blood.

I have been distracted today with piddling about ("vide OED sub voce") after having submitted myself to a blood-letting this morning. Breakfast after Vespers (from Saint Eugène; the prose or sequence Solemnis haec festivitas was sung at Mass, by the way: from the proper of Paris but I have no idea of the antiquity or authorship) and then my own Terce (that almost I forgot!)-- so after 1000!-- I don't know why but the day has seemed all jumbled about somehow.

The Paschal Candle-- symbol of Our Lord and the most noble artefact of the industrious work of the bees-- was extinguished after the Gospel lesson was read today. In the Ambrosian Rite, in the Duomo of Milan at any rate, there is a very special candelabrum that is lifted away to the heavens at the Gospel, keeping before our eyes the action the feast commemorates.