On this day, my last at the Villa, I'd like to share with you a farewell poem written by a former colleague of mine who left the Villa back in 2009. I liked it then, and I like it even more now that I have to say my own goodbye.
In their mournful wake
Bid me their farewell
As I sail eastward
Into the dark and nebulous passage
Charted by no map in the world
But the one carved into my heart.
I still remember
A lonesome villa by the sea
That seems quite so long ago...
For even memories can get old
But the heart withers not
Neither is it afraid of age’s blows
Nor fades away in the hours’ passing storms.
Smiles and whispers,
Tears and laughter,
Some as fleeting as a lovely sunset
Some lasting like the sights
Of those beautiful gallery teachers
Let me be drunk in those reveries
Beneath the Dionysos’ sky.
Regards and thank you all
For the memories
Bright and rare,
For the stories
You’ve chosen to share,
For the white and travertine,
And, why not, for the coffee and lemon tea.
To the marble halls,
To the winter’s early night falls,
To the spring’s rousing signs,
To the garden full of thyme,
To the summer’s brightest rays
To the autumn’s lovely gray.
To the sirens’ melodies fine,
To the clouds in the bluest sky,
To the yellow marble steps,
To the gallery teachers gorgeous,
To the rows of sycamores,
To the strands of soft willows
Bless me now, Hermes, I shall go.
--Myat Noe (2009)