Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I saw a note today about Edgar Allen Poe's poem about the Colosseum published in the Baltimore Sun in 1833. Some of my favorite snippets:

"Here, where a hero fell, a column falls:
Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat:
Here, where the dames of Rome their yellow hair
Wav'd to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle:
Here, where on ivory couch the Caesar sat,
On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder:"

"...These stones, alas! - these grey stones — are they all;
All of the great and the colossal left
By the corrosive hours to Fate and me?"

"Not all," — the echoes answer me; "not all:
Prophetic sounds, and loud, arise forever
From us, and from all ruin, unto the wise,
As in old days from Memnon to the sun.
We rule the hearts of mightiest men: — we rule
With a despotic sway all giant minds.
We are not desolate — we pallid stones;
Not all our power is gone; not all our Fame;
Not all the magic of our high renown;
Not all the wonder that encircles us;
Not all the mysteries that in us lie;
Not all the memories that hang upon,
And cling around about us now and ever,
And clothe us in a robe of more than glory."

For the complete poem: http://archaeology.about.com/library/weekly/aa111702a.htm