Two very different men, two quite different poems. Mascall was not primarily an aesthete; with a precise cerebral logic he really did believe, with a passion for dogma, sometimes demonstrating sharply and polemically his disgust at sloppy thinking and careless expression. In his poem, the supreme irony is in the penultimate word: despite all the Ultra-Catholicism ... the priest had a wife. And remember that Mascall led an austerely disciplined celibate life as a Priest of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd.
Betjeman loved with an all-consuming passion the whole Anglo-Catholic edifice ... but I think he was sometimes troubled by doubts about whether anything was true. If God, then ... yes, the rest all follows ... thurifers most certainly, and Martin Travers quite definitely, and baiting the Kensitites ... what else are they for! But ... God? And his sensuality, his sexuality, often got the better of him. But how he tried to believe! In his poem, the last line of the last stanza is not reserved for a final waspish irony but for tear-jerking nostalgia as he recalls the real Faith under all the 'play-time' of triumphalist 1930s Anglo-Catholicism.
The Dogmatician versus the Aesthete, obviously. The Incisive versus the Maudlin??
But both are part of the luggage we brought through Customs into the Ordinariate!