Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  “Since Cleopatra Died”

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

“Since Cleopatra Died”

By Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911)

  • Since Cleopatra died
  • I have lived in such dishonor, that the world
  • Doth wonder at my baseness.”

  • “SINCE Cleopatra died!” Long years are past,

    In Antony’s fancy, since the deed was done.

    Love counts its epochs, not from sun to sun,

    But by the heart-throb. Mercilessly fast

    Time has swept onward since she looked her last

    On life, a queen. For him the sands have run

    Whole ages through their glass, and kings have won

    And lost their empires o’er earth’s surface vast

    Since Cleopatra died. Ah! Love and Pain

    Make their own measure of all things that be.

    No clock’s slow ticking marks their deathless strain;

    The life they own is not the life we see;

    Love’s single moment is eternity;

    Eternity, a thought in Shakespeare’s brain.