Tuesday, 27 May 2014
"Maidens danced to crown him with flowers. The songs of their joy rang from the headwaters of the Lyubisha to the waves of the Black Ocean, up the highest mountains and down the fairest glens; and all the bells of Zorkagrad peeled until Lake Stoyan gave back their music.
"Springtime came, never more sweet, and blossoms well nigh buried the tomb which Gospodar Bodin had raised for St Kossara. There did he often pray, in after years of his lordship over us; and while he lived, no foeman troubled the peace she brought us through his valor. Sing, poets, of his fame and honor! Long may God give us folk like these!
"And may they hearten each one of us. For in this is our hope.
- Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), pp. 605-606.
I have quoted this concluding passage of Poul Anderson's A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows in full first because of its beauty and secondly because it continues the line of thought of the previous two posts. Like "Star Of The Sea" in Anderson's Time Patrol series, A Knight... ends with a prayer. Before that, we are told that Bodin prayed at St Kossara's tomb and that she brought peace through his valor. The intercession of saints is a specifically Orthodox and Catholic belief. Human Dennitzans are Orthochristians. I can agree at least that Bodin's valor was strengthened by his devotion to Kossara.
The first person to pray to St Kossara after her death had been her grieving fiancee, the agnostic Dominic Flandry. Flandry goes his way, remembering Kossara, while her people go their way, praying to St Kossara.