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Part 3 -- Sir Christopher Wren
"Resurgam". What a righteous word it is!
The Latin form of "I will rise again".
I'd like it on my tomb. A scientist
I was, a humble Oxford teaching drudge,
when summoned by the king. He wanted me
to build a glorious thing, a new Saint Paul's.
Though "non sum dignus" was my only thought,
I said that I'd inspect the site.
The blackened stones were hot, still. Desolate.
I had a workman with me, to assist
my rummaging. That mighty hymn to God,
the great Cathedral, lay beneath my feet,
bleak rubble, carbonized and hideous.
It could not be revived, that much was plain.
Perhaps a new design?
I paced it out.
Palladio in London - here the nave,
an apse, just so - thoughts crowded-up my mind.
One single system, uniform and strong,
not like the hotch-potch compromise we'd lost!
If only my Redeemer would send down
some hint of His approval. Here - a dome!
A mighty, unifying symbol-shape!
Excited now, I did some calculus,
and called the workman. Could he find a stone?
A thing to mark the mathematic heart,
the point where all the angles intersect,
the fulcrum of my noblest work...
the workman asked, "supply Your Worship's needs?"
He'd found a slab, just perfect, tall and flat.
He set it where I told him, at The Cross.
And when I lined it, flipping it, I felt
some carving. What was this? I had my sign.
Saint Paul's would rise again, and at my hand!
A single word from heaven. "Resurgam".
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