For Romulus and Remus;
Domes ; ponderous and solemn
Preside over every movement of this city;
Risen from the reliquary of antiquity .
Its unblinking eyes
Scan the skyline ,
Censorious and with
A gravitas bestowed upon it
In the keys of the Kingdom.
Given her from her adopted son Peter ,
The Galilean fisherman.
Sculptors have here rejoiced in the liberation of the Renaissance ,
And Songs of glory , joy , mercy , jubilation ;
Hymns of adoration and redemption .
Chime with the peals from St Peters bell towers;
Across the Tiber , to the seven hills of Rome
Faith and doubt have here , duelled across this river .
And in the tears of a thousand statues ;
Of Piety , suffering and ecstasy
And in the splendour of the Sistine ceiling
Warriors turned to saints and gladiators
Turned their ways from entertainers to scholasticism
And lay down in surrender
In the emancipation of the thoughts
Of men who wrote and painted
And their hands left no shadow on the page nor stone.
The unshackled chains of men’s hearts
Opened under the Roman sky ,
Opened them to unthought-of thoughts or
Unfathomable mystery or unthinkable possibilities.
The humility of the first divine conversation
Between the reluctant Tuscan sculptor , Michaelangelo;
And his Creator
On the Sistine ceiling ;
That sense of the first substantial dialogue between man and God;
Has brought me to an enfeebling humility
Standing there just for an instant in the apse .
Then hurrying on in shock and awe inspiring grandeur
Both in equal measure ,
I take refuge and a hungered respite under the
Columns of St Peters steps.
From the Piazza
When I am brought again to enfeebled marvel
At the stupendous dome .
And the Tiber she still flows , gently ;
Seeps from the rock of history
And the silent all seeing domes
And unblinking statues
Risen from the reliququry of antiquity .
Stare like to the future and the past at once
And the Tiber river gently flows
And knows that a gaping chasm will be filled
In the heart of the new visitor at the gate.
And so she neither sleeps nor weeps ,
Nor can she even yield to the faintest smile .
At man before and after the bankruptcy
Of his soul.
But maybe here , she knows, that the cynic
Will finally know neither the price nor value of anything.
And only the humble can be exalted
By the embalming tears of the Tiber ;
Which anoints the troubled and vexatious,
Frailty of the human soul.
Dream your dream with the timeless rhythm of the river
Between these Seven Hills.
Share with me the uplifting of the spirit
And ever without throwing a coin
Into the Trevi Fountain;
I suspect you will return ;
And I wish you every blessing
That you can and may and shall return.
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