Monday, May 2, 2011

Was Fit, Joe Rentfro's House for Sunday Prayers

Was fit, Joe Rentfro's house for Sunday prayers.
To English and their slaves, readers read verse.
King James Bible, not Kings' or Queens' but theirs.
One hundred forty years, blessings and curse

Flowed over colonists. The K J B.
Its cadences, their phrasings, lyric chimes
Had marked them plainly English to a tee.
No priest on hand, changed prayers to pantomimes?

The Jew invites the English, self select.
One goal, one law, one Lord, and Him, "of Hosts"
In certainty, saw frontier paths correct
By God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Joseph and Mary Rentfro's practice gave,
Hope to the English, solace to the slave.


Today, May 2, 2011, is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, the KJV.

Joseph Rentfro and his wife Mary Owens, ancestors of the poet, opened their home in the the Blackwater region of Virginia Colony (old Lunenburg county) to Sunday services in the Anglican tradition. 

In 1751, young William Cook (c.1720- c1784) was a reader at service, in the absence of a priest.

A version of this sonnet appears in SPLENDID LIVES AND OTHERWISE (Nativa LLC, 2011), available, including download, at 

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