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The Leaning Tower Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 3

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Having an aged hate of height

I forced myself to climb the Tower,

Yet paused at every second flight

Because my heart is scant of power;

Then when I gained the sloping summit

Earthward I stared, straight as a plummet.

When like a phantom by my side

I saw a man cadaverous;

At first I fancied him a guide,

For dimly he addressed me thus:

"Sir, where you stand, Oh long ago!

There also stood Galilleo.

"Proud Master of a mighty mind,

he worshipped truth and knew not fear;

Aye, though in age his eyes were blind,

Till death his brain was crystal clear;

And here he communed with the stars,

Where now you park your motor cars.

"This Pisa was a pleasant place,

Beloved by poets in their prime;

Yonder our Shelly used to pace,

And Byron ottavas would rhyme.

Till Shelley, from this fair environ,

Scrammed to escape egregious Byron.

"And you who with the horde have come,

I hate your guts, I say with candour;

Your wife wears slacks, and you chew gum,

So I, the ghost of Savage Landor,

Beg you, step closer to the edge,

That I may push you o'er the ledge."

But back I shrank, sped down the stair,

And sought the Baptistry where God is;

For I had no desire, I swear,

To prove the law of falling bodies. . . .

You're right - when one's nigh eighty he's a

Damphool to climb the Tower of Pisa.


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