Ex Libris

Arthur Upson

In an old book at even as I read
 Fast fading words adown my shadowy page,
 I crossed a tale of how, in other age,
At Arqua, with his books around him, sped
The word to Petrarch; and with noble head
 Bowed gently o'er his volume that sweet sage
 To Silence paid his willing seigniorage.
And they who found him whispered, "He is dead!"
Thus timely from old comradeships would I
 To Silence also rise.  Let there be night,
Stillness, and only these staid watchers by,
 And no light shine save my low study light —
Lest of his kind intent some human cry
 Interpret not the Messenger aright.