IN MEMORIAM: SANTAYANA
Of all those with whom I shared a common sky
none told his truth with more persuasive art
on those high themes whose burden makes us men
than one who spoke in dialogs from limbo.
Far voyager in the realm of disenchantment,
cartographer of countries of the mind,
late messenger from the golden age of Hellas,
ironic dreamer, skeptic saint, glad seer:
How may one thank in fitting terms the maker
of new and taller windows for the soul?
I turn my transient eyes without and see
the world's great ghostly wheels of change reduce
our mortal home to essences eternal -
the terror and the grandeur, all within.
The above poem is printed with the kind permission of its author.
It appears as one in a sequence of sonnets entitled The Lookout's
Letter, which Mr. Lengyel had sent Santayana. The response is on
the following page. With die above tide, the poem appears in El
Dorado Forest: Selected Poems, (Hillside Press, San Francisco, 1986).