Into this keep I wander, like one lost,
Through chambers black like of a withered heart,
Coursing no blood but abuse through its part.
So companied am I thus to that host
Whose chief is king of lies and prince of boast,
That ever keeps my dear from me apart
And yearns to trap me beneath his rampart,
Though clothed am I in cape of Holy Ghost.
Further I enter, further do I pain
That cruel Hades will my sweet withhold.
No Hell can such a divine soul retain,
And for her sake will I take action bold.
Charge on, o steed, that carried Christ before,
And let us take what not humbly implore.
1. keep: castle, fortress.
8. “cape of Holy Ghost”: In what is possibly my most questionable stretch of theology yet, I have somewhat merged the Holy Spirit with St. Martin of Tours, who shared his soldier’s cloak with a beggar (who in a dream showed himself to be Christ). However, the phrase also conveys the simple idea that Orphos has covered/surrounded himself with proper Christian ideas and virtues.
13. “steed … before”: Christ entered Jerusalem upon the back of an ass. Since Orphos rides it now, it should hopefully be a curious sign of his humility and piety rather than excessive pride (such as if he were riding a military charger, despite his armor), especially considering line 14.