Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.



By Alexander Pope (1688–1744)

(From Moral Essays)

SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years!

How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears,

With nodding arches, broken temples spread!

The very tombs now vanished like their dead!

Imperial wonders raised on nations spoiled,

Where mixed with slaves the groaning martyr toiled:

Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,

Now drained a distant country of her floods:

Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey,

Statues of men, scarce less alive than they!

Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age,

Some hostile fury, some religious rage.

Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire,

And papal piety, and Gothic fire.

Perhaps, by its own ruins saved from flame,

Some buried marble half preserves a name;

That name the learned with fierce disputes pursue,

And give to Titus old Vespasian’s due.