Walking on water, i.e., in the streets of Venice,
I read its history in churches—Gothic,
Baroque and Neoclassical, one marble
glory after another,
sometimes hearing the whisper of dead Catullus
reminding me that the sun that sets tonight
will rise again, but when my light has set
there will be no other.
And he is so convincing, I feel a deathly
chill from the dank canals, and all the beauty
around me seems the beauty of ancient graveyards
with new graves waiting
until I pass St Mark’s, a honeycomb church
of gold mosaics rising crowded as heaven
with rows of saints chanting that Christ is risen,
the grave invading.
We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.
Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on firstthings.com.
Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.
Will you give today?