Michaelangelo and Queen Arabella


Listen -

I now will tell you a story fair,
Of queen Arabella in distant land
Her wisdom as great as her golden hair
That playfully flowed over shoulders bare -
Like sunrays glittered every strand.
Her knowledge had no discernful bound;
Every problem graceful answer found
And loving eyes of coolest blue
Like radiant sapphire in their hue
Shone from her face with emerald crowned.
And a multitude of roses sprung
From softest soil onto castle walls
Which made of whitest stone there swung
In rosy arches o'er ancient halls;
And through those halls her silv'ry laughter
Rippled like streams in early spring
And gave joy to every living thing
That dancingly followed her thereafter.
Throughout all the kingdom spread her fame
And from far beyond the people came
To behold the glory in her name.

Now here in Florence, city of art
Our master beholds his marble block
A theme he seeks inside his heart
To carve into his untouched rock.
Busy life from the street outside;
The bustle of the famous city
On our master has no deeper pity
As he paces 'round in artist smock.
Through shutters' cracks, and window sills
Bright sunlight falls; and chalk and dust
Now swirls in dance near unfinished bust
On shelf and stand that his room fills.

But a forgotten memory stirs anew
Of passionate youth and romance lost
Once fleeting hope of love so true
From life's great promise sadly tossed.
He stands in cherished memory imbued
Intruding gently on his solitude;
With chisel in his weathered hand
Remembering a queen in distant land.

Through gardens green in evening breeze
'mongst flower beds and poplar trees
Arabella strides along the trail.
How years have passed since last they met
But never once could she forget -
That moment when the ship set sail.
He left; and thus to foreign land
She lost the hope that she desired;
And though she armies could command
She couldn't give what he required.

Words may not suffice to tell
But pen and parchment will
So he a letter thus did spell -
"I always loved thee ever still.
In years gone by much work I did
But from my heart I always hid.
Now I am famous, yet still alone
And hope by long from me has flown.
I do not hope for mercy sweet
But if thou willst, once more we'd meet."

By journey long o'er tempest sea
At last he came to distant shores
And walked between the harbor stores
Which he so long ago did flee.
And strode he then towards the hill
On which her castle stood on high
Now trembling and with wavering will -
Would she maybe see him still
Despite his proud and stern goodbye?

The castle walls with roses cover'd
In gleaming white and marble stood
And arches o'er the courtyard hovered
With ornaments of inlaid wood;
He walked amongst in awe and wonder
Columns great and buildings tall
'til suddenly in archway yonder
There stood his youthful all in all.

How long they stood there, none will know
It seemed the stars did pass above;
And times and years in graceful flow
Gave way to long forgotten love.
She smiled; drew near and whispered low:
"Forget the past, and come what will -
I'll always love thee ever still."

But years do take their toll on life
And burdens weigh upon the heart;
What could have been a man and wife
Like two great trees had grown apart.
This time, parting was not in sorrow
But with friendship and thankfulness;
And whatever comes upon tomorrow
Compared with love, it matters less.

And here in Florence, with all its dues -
Our master has found his long lost muse.