He fell asleep, reading in Cicero
And as he turned the page, in his last sleep
He found it didn’t end, so he could keep
On reading the De Gloria, and know.
Forgetting meals, forgetting pain and age,
One book led to another, all made new,
Laid out before him, beautiful and true.
In such delight he’d greet each fresh-turned page.
And there lies Homer, that most glorious peak,
Politziano’s Homer, and it said
This was a Florentine who knew his Greek
The Pope was back in Rome, and he was dead,
The world renewed, and given tongue to speak.
Sing, Goddess, Petrarch’s joy in what he read.
8th November 2015