in the Square,
the Palace and Saint Mark’s
already faded and still fading
in the white twilight of snowfall—

  

the pale pillars, the phantom portals
vaguely looming, dimly shadowed,
vanishing into a mist of snow
to drown in sea-drift desolation.

  

In such a solitude,
unpigeoned and unpeopled,
of fallen and still falling snow,
a lady in black,

  

lifting a black umbrella,
is striding forward purposefully
toward some appointment
with the winter of her mourning.

  

Titian is dead.
The light that kindled into color
sinks, extinguished, into night.
What is a mist of rainbow to the sea?

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 Number 10, on page 36
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