a locomotive, far off, across forbidden fields; andnonce upon the wind, from over his left shoulder,nthe nearer clank of trucks. . . .nThe sound of the train is especially poignant as an audioimage,nacross those always forbidden fields, which anyonenhas experienced who has lain awake in military camps onnlong summer nights.nIn addition to the Arthurian Song of Roland and othernChristian references throughout In Parenthesis, there isnfinally the incredibly beautifiil closing section in which thenQueen of the Woods (more Blessed Virgin, perhaps, thannWhite Goddess), or she who “has cut bright boughs ofnvarious flowering,” summons those who are about to die innthe ultimate decimation of the platoon, except for thenmysterious Welsh private called Dai Great-Coat (no doubtnJones himself), for “she can’t find him anywhere.”nBut there seems a greater sadness in all this than thendulling shock we had nightly come to know from thendreadful body-counts in Vietnam. The sword of Arthur andnthe horn of Roland can no longer suffice. They are notnenough. Men in arms have been so steadily diminished thatneven their comradeship, which is all they have, may not benenough in the end. The “beautiful” men in In Parenthesisnare not much different from the Pennsylvania steel-millnworkers in The Deer Hunter who, having become entrappednin mere morbidity at home, attempt to sing a patriotic dittynfor the recovery of spirit. In Jones’s great epic, they also sangn”Old Soldiers Never Die”; and, as the poet concludes, “Thenman who does not know this has not understood anything.”nIf, then, Jones had made a work of epic sadness fromnhistory itself, in The Anathemata history in turn has madenan epic sadness of his greatest and most unified poeticnvision—that is to say, the liturgical vision of the Mass as thenbasis for Western civilization. Ironically enough, the sacrednartifacts and rituals of the Mass have been steadily diminishednby fiat of official “renewal.” The Anathemata, ornScholars and ShamansnThe world of scholarship and learningnis poorer for the recent death ofnMircea Eliade. A brillant mind,nlearned in a dozen languages andncultures, Eliade tirelessly remindednthe desiccated world of modernismnof man’s priceless and vital religiousnheritage. We may at least be gladnthat Eliade finished the final volumenof A History of Religious Ideasnbefore his death. The third volumenhas now been published {From Mohammednto the Age of Reforms,nChicago: University of ChicagonPress; $27.50), translated by AlfnHiltebeitel and Diane Apostolos-nCappadona in collaboration withnREVISIONSnEliade himself Like the first twonvolumes, it is a rich and provocativenwork, erudite yet not pedantic, insightfulnand far-ranging.nImportant as they are, Eliade’snstudies are all too symptomatic ofnthe rot that has infected Christendomnin modern times, when thensacred seems almost permanentiynbanished from the sanctuary. In hisnown words, Eliade has “concentratednless on the familiar creations ofnOccidental thought (e.g.. Scholasticism,nReformation) than on certainnphenomena which have largelynpassed into silence or been minimizednin the manuals: heterodoxies,nheresies, mythologies, and popularnpractices such as sorcery,nofferings, is so complex a poem that it can hardly bendelineated, let alone interpreted, in this space. In the end,nhowever, it is no more difficult than was The Waste Land tonreaders in the first years of the present century. Jones’snpoetry of worship is not only cosmic, in the Teilhardiannsense, but it is also as personal and concrete as Teilhard denChardin’s “Mass on the World,” which he celebrated alonenin the enormous wastelands of Asia. Jones, on the othernhand, celebrates The Anathemata in the very dawn ofnprehistory, as localized in Great Britain, and as witnessed innthe emergence of human consciousness itself The Anathematanis like an extraordinary scripture, compelling andnoriginal, but in its cumulative effects stunningly singularnand clear.nTo say that David Jones was a liturgical poet is also to saynthat he was arguably the only one we have had. There arenChristian poets whose various poems may be liturgicallynarranged—most usually, of course, according to seasonsnand feast days—but these in fact may be simply thenoccasional verses of a religious disposition. In this regard,none thinks immediately of Hopkins, St. John of the Cross,nEdwin Muir, and the late Thomas Merton. They werenprimarily sacramentalists, and very good ones at that, butnthey were not as wholly conscious—as was Jones—of thatnact of simultaneity which, for him, is coterminous innworship as poetry and in poetry as worship.nIt is solely in realization of this that we can even partiallynunderstand, in view of the liturgical discontinuity of recentnyears, that David Jones was indeed the once and future poetnof a Mass (the Tridentine) which survives now only bynvirtue of a kind of cultural accommodation. We know fromnrecent critical studies of him that Jones was shattered by thenliturgical reforms of Vatican Council II. The issue hadnnothing to do, however, with liberal or conservative notionsnof religious politics. In I97I, he was involved in an appealnto the Vatican which was also signed by such variouslyn(continued on page 28)nnnalchemy, and esotericism.” The ritualsnand visions of the Altaic shamans,nSufi mystics, and Tibetannexorcists do hold their fascinations,nand Eliade’s research has beennpainstaking. But the implicit relativismnof perspective, which treatsnprimitive paganism, Islam, Buddhism,nJudaism, and Christianitynas simply different “valorizations”nof the religious impulse, will annoynanyone who takes seriously thenteachings of Parmenides, Moses, ornChrist. We can only give thanks fornscholarship that broadens our intellectualnhorizons. But when weneventually join Pascal in wageringnour souls, we cannot hedge ournbets.nDECEMBER 1986 / 21n