The Two Porringers

When Brother Amazialbene of the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi died, Brother Juniper felt such sorrow that he wished to have two porringers made of the head of Amazialbene in memory of him and for devotion’s sake. The wish has new occasion.

BRAVE fellow, who hast died for others’ sake
In some wet, fetid trench or blasted field,
I beg of earth thy skull, that it may be
A deathless symbol of thy fortitude.
I’d make of this, thy crown, two porringers,
One for my food and one for drink, that I,
Touching in hunger or in thirst their rims,
Might learn to face without complaint my ills,
Shun softness, luxury and paunched ease,
Know the close comradeship of fearless men
In such democracy as cheers the fit,
Endure misfortune without bitterness,
And fight as fiercely for my troubled land
As thou, O valiant one, hast fought for thine.
I’d scour the battle-fields of France to find
Such cups in which to pledge my country’s life.