French Countryside


The sky is like mercury
The heavens mercurial
The earth is bathed in mercurochrome
and mercy is the cure

I walk alone in Burgundian wonder:
to Byzantium still, with the world
so insecure?

August 6, 2002


* * * *

When books were new in Gutenburgtime
up the river Rhine in Mainz,
in a printer's shop on the press it read:
"Let the Word go forth - a new consensus is born."

Then they spread it around the continent
from Germany to Paris, from Venice to Lyon
the crux of southern Europe.
Serving Italy and Spain, for the reading-prone,
it was in Lyon where you caught the early train
to Cicero St. Augustine
and all that praise of God that's in between
the page and man,
if you were a book fan.

Maybe it's like recorded sound a hundred years from the start.
Gutenburg is Edison and I am a man of middle age in 1552.
The Renaissance is in decline
but these eyes of mine have seen
my own devotions of the heart,
like an early master, play a part
in the history of the art.

Now the printer comes to town unknown.
Typeset faces trademark serifs characters italic
and apprentice to no man.
(nine walks across the land to Istanbul)

O Sacre Coeur as it were
O font of every blessing - Self-fulfill
Though I am prone to wander
and to leave the God I love -
plead my lowly case above:
I walk to Lyon in January just for the thrill,
at the groin of southern Europe,
if you will.

Copyright @ Arthur Garfunkel
Used by Permission of Author. All Rights Reserved.