Today We Praise Our Saint Dian

Today we praise our Saint Dian,

Whose blood for bounteous Life was spilled –

Although she interposed her Faith,

One Species more was killed.

For all around the misty hills

She tracked the wild Gorilla bands,

Until they learned to trust her Love,

And take her by the hand.

The timed giants, huge and strong,

She held in her courageous arms;

She guarded them with anxious care,

Lest they should come to harm.

They knew her as their Friend and kin,

Around her they would feast and play –

And yet cruel Murderers came by night.

And slew her where she lay.

Too many violent hands and hearts!

Dian, too sadly few like you –

For when a Species dies from Earth,

We die a little too.

Among the green and misty hills,

Where once the shy Gorillas gathered,

Your kindly Spirit wanders still,

In watchfulness forever.

from The God's Gardeners Oral Hymnbook from Margaret Atwoods' Year of the Flood