Scene from the Life of St. Ursula: Papal Audience
By James Scannell McCormick - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - 27 August 2015
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.