The Song of the Hagia Sophia

God sounds out, the earth sounds out, the heavens sound out.

And the Hagia Sophia also sounds out, the great monastery,

With four hundred sounding-boards and sixty-two bells,

For each bell a priest, for each priest a deacon.

Sound for the Holies to come out, for the emperor to come out.

A voice came to them from heaven and from the mouth of an angel:

“Stop the Cherubic hymn and lower the Holy gifts,

Because it is God’s will that the City become Turkish.

Only send a word to France [the West] for three ships to come,

One to take the Cross, another the Gospel,

And the third one, the best one, our Holy Table.

Don’t let the dogs take them and defile them.”

Our Lady is shaken and weeps and cries.

“Be quiet, our Maiden Lady, don’t cry, don’t weep.

Again, in years and in time, again it will be yours.”


(The lament of the Hellenic people, which is full of hope, after the Fall of Constantinople 1453)