From the cultural sleep of the Middle Ages,
When intellect was enslaved by faith,
Art and music serviced God,
And literacy was the tool of priests,

He midwifed Europe's Reawakening
To reason and humanity,
When princes studied how to govern,
And amateur armies turned professional.

With insight and imagination
He filled one notebook after another
With visions of our fathers' days:
Medicine and weapons of Korea and Vietnam.

How many horror-stricken midnights
Did he light a candle and dip a pen,
While bombers dropped napalm in his head?
What gift was his, or what foul curse?

For all the eternities that we know,
And all the infinities that we grasp,
We master with vast stores of science,
Built bit by bit by giants like him:

But he stood empty-handed and alone,
Surrounded by the shattered pillars
Of Greek and Roman learning,
Yet heard the insect buzzing of binary code.

Too little of his work survives:
Some master pieces of line and light,
And those notebooks, best appreciated
By our astonished backward gaze.

He still deserves profound respect
For the newborn age he helped design.
Inspiration is reason's light:
Leonardo's genius banished night.

Copyright © 2001 by Green Sky Press.  All rights reserved.  Backgrounds and images are copyright by their respective authors, who retain all rights.

This background is TEX8 from Lori's Background Boutique.  The images were found at Corbis.