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I came across a poem recently, written by a guy by the name of Ezra Pound. It is called “Ballad of the Goodly Fere”. It is written from the perspective of one of the men who followed Jesus. It makes more sense if you know that “fere” is an Old English word that means ‘mate’.

Have we lost the goodliest fere o’ all

For the priest and the gallows tree?

Aye lover he was of brawny men,

O’ ships and the open sea.

When they came wi’ a host to take Our Man

His smile was good to see,

‘First let these go” quo’ our Goodly Fere,

“Or I’ll see ye damned, says He.

Aye He sent us out through the crossed high spears

And the scorn of His laugh rang free,

“Why took ye not me when I walked about

Alone in the town?” says He.

I ha’ seen Him drive a hundred men

Wi’ a bundle o’ cords swung free,

When they took the high and holy house

For their pawn and treasury…

I ha’ seen Him cow a thousand men

On the hills of Galilee,

They whined as He walked out calm between,

Wi’ his eyes like the grey o’ the sea,

Like the sea the brooks no voyaging

With winds unleashed and free,

Like the sea that he cowed at Genseret

Wi’ two words spoke’ suddenly.

A Master of men was the Goodly Fere,

A mate of the wind and sea,

If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere

They are fools eternally.

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