Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Descriptive Poems: III. Places
To Rome
Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas (1580–1645)
 
From the Spanish by Benjamin B. Wiffen

Buried in Its Ruins

STRANGER, ’t is vain! midst Rome thou seek’st for Rome
  In vain; thy foot is on her throne—her grave:
  Her walls are dust; Time’s conquering banners wave
O’er all her hills; hills which themselves entomb.
Yes! the proud Aventine is its own womb;        5
  The royal Palatine is ruin’s slave;
  And medals, moldering trophies of the brave,
Mark but the triumphs of oblivious gloom.
  Tiber alone endures, whose ancient tide
  Worshipped the Queen of Cities on her throne        10
And now, as round her sepulchre, complains.
  O Rome! the steadfast grandeur of thy pride
  And beauty all is fled; and that alone
Which seemed so fleet and fugitive remains.
 
 
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