Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON OLD ROME, by PHILIP AYRES



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ON OLD ROME, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here was old rome that stretch'd her empire far
Last Line: Are but the sacred reliques of her tomb.
Subject(s): Roman Empire


HERE was old Rome that stretch'd her empire far,
In peace was fear'd, triumphant was in war:
Here 'twas, for now its place is only found,
All that was Rome lies buried under ground.

These ruins hid in weeds, on which man treads,
Were structures which to Heav'n rais'd their proud heads:
Rome that subdu'd the World, to Time now yields,
With rubbish swells the plains, and strews the fields.

Think not to see what so renown'd has been,
Nothing of Rome, in Rome is to be seen;
Vulcan and Mars, those wasting Gods, have come,
And ta'en Rome's greatness utterly from Rome.

They spoil'd with malice, ere they would depart,
Whate'er was rare of Nature or of Art:
Its greatest trophies they destroy'd and burn'd;
She that o'erturn'd the World, to dust is turn'd.

Well might she fall, 'gainst whom such foes conspire,
Old Time, revengeful Man, and Sword and Fire:
Now all we see of the great Empress Rome,
Are but the sacred reliques of her tomb.





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