Thursday, June 18, 2015


“Just before dawn,” Mr. Stefanacci told us,
“A messenger on a tired white horse
Comes galloping into an Italian town.
Standing in the stirrups he shouts
Constantinople has fallen to the Turks;
The Middle Ages are over! It’s the Renaissance!’
The town bursts into activity, with banners
Appearing everywhere and crowds cheering
As the Mona Lisa strides past, arm in arm
With Michelangelo’s David.” After a pause
He went on: “That isn’t how it was; History
Does not happen that way.” There was, I now think,
A note of regret in his voice. It is because of him
That this messenger who never was
Still comes to me sometimes, on his tired horse,
And I join the crowd, cheering for the Renaissance.

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