and the beauty of the material drew me away

photo by miles aldridge  (21st century)(gracias a fabiana barreda)

painting by piero della francesca (1415-1492)

I saw before me the world of his world
The bright fields, the birds in abundance,
All nature, of which he sang, singing of him
All the beauty that surrounded him as he walked –
His nature, that was Nature itself –

And I heard him
I heard him speak
And the birds sang sweetly, and the wolves licked his feet.
But I could not give myself to him.
I felt another call, from the basilica itself:
The call of art, the call of man, and the beauty of the material drew me away.

And I awoke, and beheld upon the wall
The handiwork of Piero della Francesca...