Scene from the Life of St. Ursula: Papal Audience

By James Scannell McCormick - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - 27 August 2015



After Carpaccio



Who is she? White-mitered bishops, cardinals

In toques of crimson, mill and press: Princess?

But come from some unsettled tract at the fierce

Brink of the world. In her mastered Latin, fall


And lift -- her outlandish mother tongue? -- like swells

Against a hull. In gemmed circlet and dress

Color of sky's zenith, she kneels -- as does

Every single girl (Thousands!) who fills


That zealous cortege. What can the Holy Father

Make of such an unmatched showing of love?

What can he say? Between the squat shadow


Of the Tomb, the thick, silted Tiber, he wavers.

In their midst, single, fixed desire: to receive

Blessing; in his heart, holy envy: to follow.