Lay for the Day
The feast of St Alexis, the patron saint of beggars. His legend was very
popular in the Middle Ages.
was said to be the son of wealthy Christian Romans, who arranged a marriage
for him with an upper-class bride. He went through with the marrriage,
but by arrangement with his wife left home on the wedding night to take
up the life of a wandering ascetic. Near a shrine in Edessa, in Syria
(now Urfa in the far south of Turkey) he gained a reputation for holiness,
until he fled his own popularity and returned to Rome.
parents took the beggar in without knowing who he was, out of Christian
charity. He lived under their stairs for 17 years, till he died. A document
found on his corpse revealed his identity, which was also attested by
voices from heaven and miracles.
donít know what happened to poor Mrs Alexis, who seems to have got the
rough end of the deal. Maybe she was happy as a wealthy married widow.
Londons got no problems,
Londons full of friends.
Theyre all nice to one another
and over backwards everybody bends.
Its enough to warm your heart.
(I wish that I could warm my feet.)
Ive almost got a job
and its a piece of cake.
Although Ill do it any weather,
guess how much I make.
People here spare no expense.
(Can you spare us twenty pence?)
The gardens looking
full of roses and carnations.
I got this place for next to nothing
and its handy for the station.
With love from your loving son, Martin.
(Mother, Im not beaten.
You know I
won’t be beat.)
and music by The Children
Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar