(St. Patrick is syncretized in Haitian Voodoo with the serpent god Damballah. He could have done worse….)
They recognized him as the Lord of Snakes.
What else were those things writhing at his feet?
At catechism, they were no great shakes—
But saw the image verdant and complete
And recognized the god. Snakes in retreat
And in advance look pretty much the same.
The powers that men recognize, they greet.
And that, friends, is the syncretism game.
The savage in a man is hard to tame.
I’m sure St. Patrick recognizes this.
Plus, ignorance is not a cause for shame
Unless it’s willful. Let the image hiss!
Go ahead, lads, with what you meant to do:
St. Patrick’s smiling as he nods to you.