|Stephen & John among the tombs|
Making our way through the family vaults, I started hearing Samuel Barber's "Desire for Hermitage" as sung by Leontyne Price in my head; which is the price one pays for being a musician and lover of song, beauty knowing no bounds and songs having a way of singing themselves in the oddest of places: it's what I heard when I raised my head, looked up at San Salvatore's resplendent white-marbled framed door and climbed the stairs.
The desire for hermitage
Ah! To be all alone in a little cell
with nobody near me;
beloved that pilgrimage before the last pilgrimage to death.
Singing the passing hours to cloudy Heaven;
Feeding upon dry bread and water from the cold spring.
That will be an end to evil when I am alone
in a lovely little corner among tombs
far from the houses of the great.
Ah! To be all alone in a little cell, to be alone, all alone:
Alone I came into the world
alone I shall go from it.