Response to Interior of the Baptistry of St. Mark’s, by William Merritt Chase

I see you when others don’t.

People look for the glamor,
Marveling in gold and ceremony,
But you make the ordinary shine.

How would candles burn
If there was no one
To clean the candleholders?

The sanctuary would grow stale and dim
Because men are less inclined
To seek my comfort in the dark.

But you, humble heart,
See your reflection clearly every time
In the long hours of the night—
Hands working out the smudges,
Scraping out tired wax,
Replacing dwindling sticks.

You’re a fire tower on the mountain,
Filling the sky with wisdom
And guiding travelers
Into new hope.