Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN THE ROMAN FORUM, by AMELIA JOSEPHINE BURR



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
IN THE ROMAN FORUM, by            
First Line: Nothing but beauty, now
Last Line: Divinity alone.
Subject(s): Forum (rome)


NOTHING but beauty, now.
No longer at the point of goading fear
The sullen, tributary world comes near
Before all-subjugating Rome to bow.
No more the pavement of the Forum rings
To breathless victory's exultant tread
Before the heavy march of captive kings.
Here stood the royal dead
In sculptured immortality, their gaze
Remote above the turmoil of the street
Hoarse with its living struggle at their feet.
Here spoke the law -- that voice of bronze was heard
By all the world, and stirred
The latent mind of nations in the bud.
Bright with the laurels, bitter with the blood
Of heroes upon heroes was this place
Where the strong heart of an imperial race
Beat with the essence of a nation's life.
Princes and people evermore at strife --
Incense and worship -- clash of armoured rage --
Ambition soaring up the sky like flame --
Interminable war that mortals wage
From century to century the same.
Still Fortune holds the crown for those who dare;
Mankind in many a distant otherwhere
Leaps panting toward the promise of her face --
But here, no more of coveting nor care.
No longer here the weltering human tide
Sluices the market-place and scatters wide
The weak as foam, to perish where they list.
Now by the sovereign Silence purified
Spring showers all with fragrant amethyst.
Were once these pulses violent and swift
As those that shake the cities of to-day?
How indolently sweet the petals drift
From yonder nodding spray!
Warming their broidered raiment in the sun
The little bright-eyed lizards bask and run
O'er fallen temples gracious in decay.
Man's arrogance with calculated art
Boasted in marble -- now the quiet heart
Of the Great Mother dreams eternal things
In brief bright roses and ethereal green,
Or more exuberant, sings
In poppies poured profusely to the air
From secret hoards of scarlet. Nothing seen
But swoons with beauty -- beauty everywhere --
Nothing but beauty . . . now.
Here is the immortality of Rome.
Not where the city rises, dome on dome,
Seek we the living soul of ancient might,
But in this temple of green silence -- here
Flame purer than the vestal is alight.
The world again draws near
In reverence, but now it comes to pay
The tribute of a nobler coin than fear.
In wondering worship, not in fierce dismay,
Men bow the knee to what of Rome remains.
Time's long lustration has effaced her stains.
All that is perishable now is past
And earth her portion tenderly transmutes
To evanescent beauty of her own,
Jubilant flowers and nectar-breathing fruits,
Leaving in deathless glory at the last
Divinity alone.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net