Rome Unvisited

| | Comments (4)


Tomorrow I will be leaving Rome. I expect to be away from the Eternal City for the remaining summer months. I will know better what my fall schedule will be sometime in August. I have been asked to accept a number of engagements in September, October, and November. Oscar Wilde expresses some of the sentiments that rise in my heart as I spend the day sorting through my things and packing.

Rome Unvisited

The corn has turned from grey to red,
Since first my spirit wandered forth
From the drear cities of the north,
And to Italia's mountains fled.
And here I set my face towards home,
For all my pilgrimage is done,
Although, methinks, yon blood-red sun
Marshals the way to Holy Rome.
O Blessed Lady, who dost hold
Upon the seven hills thy reign!
O Mother without blot or stain,
Crowned with bright crowns of triple gold!
O Roma, Roma, at thy feet
I lay this barren gift of song!
For, ah! the way is steep and long
That leads unto thy sacred street.


And yet what joy it were for me
To turn my feet unto the south,
And journeying towards the Tiber mouth
To kneel again at Fiesole!
And wandering through the tangled pines
That break the gold of Arno's stream,
To see the purple mist and gleam
Of morning on the Apennines
By many a vineyard-hidden home,
Orchard and olive-garden grey,
Till from the drear Campagna's way
The seven hills bear up the dome!


A pilgrim from the northern seas--
What joy for me to seek alone
The wondrous temple and the throne
Of him who holds the awful keys!
When, bright with purple and with gold
Come priest and holy cardinal,
And borne above the heads of all
The gentle Shepherd of the Fold.
O joy to see before I die
The only God-anointed king,
And hear the silver trumpets ring
A triumph as he passes by!
Or at the brazen-pillared shrine
Holds high the mystic sacrifice,
And shows his God to human eyes
Beneath the veil of bread and wine.


For lo, what changes time can bring!
The cycles of revolving years
May free my heart from all its fears,
And teach my lips a song to sing.
Before yon field of trembling gold
Is garnered into dusty sheaves,
Or ere the autumn's scarlet leaves
Flutter as birds adown the wold,
I may have run the glorious race,
And caught the torch while yet aflame,
And called upon the holy name
Of Him who now doth hide His face.


What a terrific poem. Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde says it well. Thanks for giving it to us. I miss Rome a lot but not the heat!

What a great poem! I was going to do a post on Oscar Wilde today and you have confirmed my inspiration!

+Dear Father,
This is good news that you are heading back to the states, ah, but your fall schedule is already filling up? Do not forget us!
I am wondering if you received my email regarding Fr. Mark Gruber, O.S.B.,
since in the past it has not always gone through. Have you seen his web page? There are some charming pictures in his photo gallery...
May God speed your travel and His holy angels keep you safe.

I am sad that you will be away for a month (and presumably not posting). That means this is the last from you I will receive...I enter a convent in August!

You have been a great daily source of recollection for me, Father. Thank you.

Leave a comment

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory