Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF 27 B.C., by FRANKLIN PIERCE ADAMS



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THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF 27 B.C., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: For sins ancestral, o thou guiltless roman
Last Line: And gosh! Our kids are getting even worse!
Alternate Author Name(s): F. P. A.
Subject(s): Horace (65-8 B.c.); Soldiers; Tyranny & Tyrants; War; Dictators


FOR sins ancestral, O thou guiltless Roman, thou shalt suffer
Till thou restore the temples that are crumbling, and the shrines;
The statues that are smoky go and polish with a buffer!
Go scour the sooty sculpture till it shines!

It is by service to the gods alone that thou prevailest;
With them beginneth everything; to them entrust the end!
Observe what woes to Italy, once the heartiest and the halest,
The gods have sent—continue still to send.

Monaeses and the Pacoran have beaten us in battle—
To them the spoil of Rome upon their necklaces is sweet—
And worried now with politics and civil tittle-tattle,
We fear the foreign soldiery and fleet.

Our times are overtroublous; there are scandals and divorces;
We tremble for the children and we fret about the Home;
The River of Disaster, overflowing from these sources,
Is threatening the government of Rome.

The Roman flapper joys in doing wild, Hellenic dances,
She calsomines her features and she rouges up her lips;
The married woman yearns for unconnubial romances—
She's naughty to her tender finger-tips.

Not such the sires of Roman youth, who rising in their glory,
Put Hannibal, Antiochus, and Pyrrhus off the map.
Gone are the peasant warriors and their brave, bucolic story!
Return again, O simple Sabine yap!

O Time, is naught secure from thy malign disintegration?
Our parents' days our grandsires and our granddams used to curse.
Compare us with our parents—ponder our degeneration!
And gosh! our kids are getting even worse!





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