Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX. 1876–79.

Greece: Corinth


By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

VENICE of classic times! where dance and song

And vine-crowned Bacchus chased the hours along,

And young and old but lived for present joy,

No thought of gloom their raptures to alloy.


Now, as we walk where flowers of every bloom

Once made the land a garden of perfume,

And countless lyres, each sweet entrancing night,

Swelled from love’s temple gleaming on the height,

We find but choking thorns, and grass that waves

On shattered walls and long-forgotten graves.

Where now, high peak, that tower’st in barren pride,

The pillared fanes which once adorned thy side?

Where the bronze statues glittering in the sun,

Telling of deeds by Isthmian conquerors done?

Ay, Paul denounced, and Mummius wrapped in flame,

The cup was full, the bolt of ruin came,

Mirth spread its wings, the sister Graces fled,

And Corinth bowed in death her beauteous head.