Friday, September 23, 2022

Till Time Seemed Fiction, Past and Present One

 Rome: On the Palatine
by Thomas Hardy

 (April 1887) 

 We walked where Victor Jove was shrined awhile,
 And passed to Livia's rich red mural show,
 Whence, thridding cave and Criptoportico,
 We gained Caligula's dissolving pile.
 And each ranked ruin tended to beguile
 The outer sense, and shape itself as though
 It wore its marble gleams, its pristine glow
 Of scenic frieze and pompous peristyle.
 When lo, swift hands, on strings nigh overhead,
 Began to melodize a waltz by Strauss :
 It stirred me as I stood, in Cæsar's house,
 Raised the old routs Imperial lyres had led,
 And blended pulsing life with lives long done,
 Till Time seemed fiction, Past and Present one.

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