Eclogue II

Johann:

Hallo!

I am not mistaken, you are young Master Watts!

Watts:

I am.

Lord Johann?

Johann:

Indeed, how blessed am I to meet with you.

Two souls, who love to make melody; meet upon

the road; providence, providence.

You with angelic voice and I, the lord of piping.

All praise to the maker and keeper of faith!

How often have I heard your fame sung!

Let us leave this dusty road and turn into that tavern, back a bend in the road,

and praise the founder of our faith and fortunes.

Watts:

I, of course, defer to your grey head!

My mouth is dry and my legs, stout as they are, tighten to the road.

A peculiar and blessed honor, to buy so esteemed and holy a man,

a drink and sit gladdening hearts by a happy hearth!

Johann:

And such a blessing to my lineage that ale on your silver,

should comfort and cool me on so hot a day!

They crossed back with animated tongues to

‘Solomon’s Portico’, a home to wanderers and travelers.

Two famed men happy to enjoy famed brew.

 

Johann:

Solomon; meet Master Watts.

We’ve come to share in your hospitality and mix talents.

Solomon:

Such a scene!

Lord Johann, you are indeed welcome!

This is a tale for my table!

Sit here, by the window.

Mix Talents? Indeed!

I’ll order another keg tapped.

I have heard of young Master Watts.

I tried to see you play at Michael-mas at St. John’s Church and

again at St. Moses Cathedral, but there was no room for me, though I

promised two kegs to any man who’d give up his seat.

Men cross the mountains to taste my brew, I flatter myself,

but none would budge!

Watts:

You are too kind!

At St. Calvinus feast, they served your summer ale, not a fortnight passed.

I think my voice was never so stout, nor my range so wide.

You are a prince!

Solomon:

Prince!

Me, lordly, with my beer making and hospitality?

Please, my wife has a tale or two for the both of you!

Lord Johann, are you two going to compete?

I hear, Melodious has offered high prices and honors to compete with you?

Johann:

Compete? I play for no vain-glory.

Melodious thinks he’s the very root, the first of all us poor players!

I have never desired to appease him.

I play to make the hearts of men glad.

Master Watts is of a like-mind, I have often heard.

Competition does not befit our gifts. We are two experts whose skills

will be fulfilled in conference on the goodness of the “The Three. The One.”

Solomon:

I know the wise, when I hear them!

Bless you!

What can I fetch such esteemed men?

Watts:

A pitcher and two steaks, if the beef is fat!

Solomon:

If, indeed, young pup.

Rest, my guests, and enjoy a cigar or fresh ground tobacco for your pipes.

If the two of you, Lord and Master of song, converse of music here, the fame

it will bring my portico would pale my meager ale.

I once heard a very wealthy man speak of giving up the family estate to

bring the two of you to the music books, together in any music hall or barn.

 

The drink was brought and followed by fattened Calf and

carrots fresh picked and apples and whole vines of grapes.

Then Wedges of cheese and loafs of bread, one would think twenty feasted!

The two gentlemen ate and laughed.

 

They beat upon the table as joy and thanksgiving abounded.

Arrangements were compared, tunes were written, why all the while

the people came, hearing that two such famed and Holy men sat together.

They came to see, and maybe hear, such a sight.

More were added to the party until the building bulged.

Up and down the Lane and into the highway in both directions they thronged!

Solomon:

Lord Johann, Master Watts!

Come, we crush this ground.

There is a farmer’s field whose owner has sworn

he’ll name his first born Johann Watts if only

the two of you would come there and play and his son is seventeen!

I’ve ordered large casts rolled out there and I won’t charge a dime.

Johann:

We must play! Master Watts, clear your throat, we make melody!

Watts:

With all my heart!

It took some time for them to make their way out to the field.

The entire county, it seemed,

with cups in hand appeared from the road in every direction.

 

Lord Johann and Master Watts ascended a fastened cart at the end of the field.

They were hearty.

They warmed with “Bless the Man”.

They played and sang together.

 

They went through anthem after anthem of our commonwealth.

They called for the crowd to sing with them;

“Beneath the Blood Stained Lintel”, “Psalm 133”,

“O’ Twas a Joyful Sound to Hear”, “Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace”.

The parish players came, with drum and harp and were inspired…

 

The merriment was heard across the valley.

Joyous rapture proceeded while fires were lit to

carry on into the night and the

ground shook with the dancing and it was a joyful sound to hear…

 

As Melodious heard the tale told

He cursed them both for such a lowly act.

Wouldn’t everyone who saw them coming down the road, expect a free show?

 

He decided they must have been drunk and called them fools.

And he overlooked the green vein in his heart

that wondered what joy could accompany

playing to so low a crowd for free

in a field!?

 

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