On St Ce­cilia’s Day

The London Magazine - - JOHN GREENING -

Stop lis­ten­ing to that mu­sic and hear in­stead what the dead are say­ing who were buried on this day seven years or six­teen or, if you in­sist on en­ter­ing the hy­postyle court to count the pil­lars, a silent dy­nasty ago.

There is an ab­sent zo­diac where the shifted tropic once looked down but one can imag­ine be­lieve only in mea­sur­able stars and can­not be­hold even, say, the South­ern Cross with de­light.

Now think of the day bor­ing trav­ellers to Syene reaches north at last through stacks and scrolls to Eratos­thenes, who sees the sun-shaft in that well and hears the Mu­sic of the Earth start play­ing.

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