In The Bleak Midwinter
(An old post but on hearing the Holst/Rossetti carol in Selby Market today I just couldn't resist)
To the sensibilities of our cossetted ears this was grisly business. To those watching, though, this was a thing of glory – a glory greater than battle, glory which brought men close to the gods.
The Mace of Sol was older than the stories of the Old Folk – a thigh bone from a great beast, of which the Elders spoke but none could recall, for such beasts were no more.
The Mace was held high in the grey, mid-winter dawnlight by the High Priest. Kneeling beneath, extending his head in reverent supplication, the crippled boy was offered.