Pantheon:  The Founder packs to go



Two thousand years ago, a nameless worker

                turned to Agrippa, saying, “There the building’s done;

                may it honor Romulus and our gods.”


Gathering his tools for the last time, he walked away,

Moving on to the next project,

Willing, with his final glance,

                that all his passion and his piety stay in this spot,

                that his legacy in stone not be forgot by time.


A century later the building burned.

Restored by Domitian.


Rebuilt by Hadrian.

Named a church by Christians.

A tourist spot for capitalists.

Just another old building in Rome.


This is the grief of passing for those who build.

We pack our tools knowing that our

                particular version may be –must be—lost.


But the architect must start the next building.

The painter must go to the new picture.

The musician must set aside the last work,

                and put down the first note on the clean page.


Inside the Pantheon, the light shifts through the dome;

                the passion and the piety of all the generations of builders,

                shimmering on the porphyry and the marble columns.

We walk softly, honoring the gift of their spirit to us all.





                                                                        ©  Jean M. Campbell 2001