Friday, March 21, 2014

A Scholar by Don Paterson

A Scholar

Pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli 

The light is dying, and the clock has died;
the page succumbs to the atrocious care
that disinters the things not wholly there
by which your solemn field is justified. 
You burnish them until they bear the shine 
of common knowledge, knowing one black skill 
is yours alone: before the greater will
all text is dream, and takes on the design
of what was sought there. Thus your word is God. 
This grammarie electrifies the gate;
none pass but such as you initiate.
The students hurry by you in the quad 
attending to their feet. What can you say? 
You know your Shakespeare would have walked that way. 

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