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T.S. Eliot - The Hippopotamus

 Similiter et omnes revereantur Diaconos, ut mandatum Jesu Christi; et Episcopum, ut
Jesum Christum, existentem filium Patris; Presbyteros autem, ut concilium Dei et
conjunctionem Apostolorum. Sine his Ecclesia non vocatur; de quibus suadeo vos sic
habeo.

S. Ignatii Ad Trallianos.


And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of
the Laodiceans.



THE BROAD-BACKED hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh and blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo’s feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The ’potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.

At mating time the hippo’s voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with God.

The hippopotamus’s day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way—
The Church can sleep and feed at once.

I saw the ’potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr’d virgins kist,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.

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Added: Jan 31 2004 | Viewed: 26022 times | Comments and analysis of The Hippopotamus by T.S. Eliot Comments (31)

The Hippopotamus - Comments and Information

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: 8. The Hippopotamus
Volume: Poems
Year: Published/Written in 1920
Poem of the Day: Apr 2 2007

Comment 31 of 31, added on December 21st, 2014 at 11:30 AM.
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BW35B8 Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

crorkzz from Algeria
Comment 30 of 31, added on December 21st, 2014 at 9:56 AM.
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Comment 29 of 31, added on April 11th, 2014 at 7:18 PM.
Good stuff! You grab

Good stuff! You grabbed me from the first post. I hpnpeaed to see a comment you left on copyblogger and discovered your blog. Keep up the good work, Linda!

Andy from Congo, Democratic Republic of

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