Who wept that he could not read Homer? (No, the OTHER Homer).

Been away from the boards for a long time due to…well, I’m not going to get into that, or I’ll never get to my question.

I recall one of my professors relating an anecdote of a noted Renaissance figure who was discovered by a friend cradling The Iliad and The Odyssey in his arms and weeping despondently because he could not read Greek. My notoriously leaky memory insists that the person in question was Petrarch, but I cannot find any reference to the story. As my Google-fu has failed me (yeah, I know, performance issues are normal for men my age), I turn to the Almighty Brothers and Sisters of the Inner Fire.

Aside from every student who ever found himself unprepared for his classics exam, who was it that wept because he could not read Homer?

Guys, that’s your cue!

Could you be thinking of John Keats’ poem “On first looking into Chapman’s Homer”? There is no actual weeping, and it is not from the Renaissance, but it is a famous piece expressing strong emotion over being unable read Homer in the original Greek, but now being overjoyed to be able to read him in translation. (It is a damned good poem, too - even though it should be Balboa, not Cortez.)

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold,
and many men and places seen”
Speaking of being a student.
“Till I heard Chapman speak out (something) and bold!”

Could not find a specific quote that says Petrarch “wept because he could not read Greek”. However there is this:

From here http://www.nndb.com/people/892/000084640/.

When combined with this:

the anecdote certainly sounds plausible. (From Wikipedia article on Petrarch.)

Sorry, best I could do.

I thought it was going to be about this Homer.

How about Milton? He REALLY couldn’t read Homer.

I believe he had someone read to him.
When he could see, he saw angels in trees.
I feel like I’m in Fr. Debosier’s English Lit class.

And that’s better than I’ve been able to do, even after making multiple attempts over the past few months. Thank you!