Macerata spreads on a hill;
On the church's stairs the setting sun had gilt
– "Souvenha vos a temps de ma dolor" –
I met the last of a monks' vanished host;
I was a child, he a ghost:
A glance exchanged, and then we waved.
Osimo tops a high, steep hill:
Among those narrow streets that flowers quilt,
La fe' mi tolse, e mi fe' trovador
A students' saint's prized relic, and his heap
Of blessings, sold quite cheap,
While th'ancient organ played, unsaved.
Fermo endures its ages on a hill
with layers of walls: the first some Titans built,
Then Romans, with square bricks, called concolor;
On top, deaf Communists built walls of thought
– Stout walls by zealots wrought –
And every wall its foes all braved.
San Leo wards the Earth from a hill
And count Cagliostro, imprisoned without guilt,
Has still in hold -that'd be a razon de amor-
Unseen, since his swart art's forgotten to die;
He pointed, from where he'd lie,
At future paths, in shade engraved.
Proud Babel's scales, these stones that years here tie
Seem, aged, to miss their sky
And desert plains, by gold-dust paved.