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


Rome Buried in Her Own Ruins

By Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645)

Translated by Felicia Hemans

AMIDST these scenes, O pilgrim! seek’st thou Rome?

Vain is thy search,—the pomp of Rome is fled;

Her silent Aventine is glory’s tomb;

Her walls, her shrines, but relics of the dead.

That hill, where Cæsars dwelt in other days,

Forsaken mourns where once it towered sublime;

Each mouldering medal now far less displays

The triumphs won by Latium than by Time.

Tiber alone survives,—the passing wave

That bathed her towers now murmurs by her grave,

Wailing with plaintive sound her fallen fanes.

Rome! of thine ancient grandeur all is passed,

That seemed for years eternal framed to last;

Naught but the wave—a fugitive—remains.