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



By Baldassare Castiglione (1478–1529)

Translated by Capel Lofft

YE hills superb, ye ruins which retain

Of Rome the name august, and but the name,

What relics of the height of human fame,

What traces of exalted souls remain!

Those statues, arches, theatres;—in vain

Those works divine, that splendor which became

The Queen of cities. Time,—devouring flame

Have sunk in dust! Pomp, joy, long and triumphal reign,

A theme of vulgar scorn!—If works like these

Can for some space with Time the conflict dare,

Slowly the victor marches, sure to seize.—

Content my own distress shall I not bear?

Since all on earth must yield to Time’s decrees,

Time will relieve my anguish, end my care.