And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys & desires.
At first, laid down on clay tablets
like the footprints of a slender bird,
then, progressed through dried skins and pulp,
burgeoning past parchment
to a flood of writs so numerous
as to be incomprehensible—
mulled by the nine
in their archaic robes,
most prefer dead stone
to a living vine.