Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Arch of Titus

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

Rome, Ruins of

The Arch of Titus

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

I STOOD beneath the Arch of Titus long;

On Hebrew forms there sculptured long I pored;

Till fancy, by a distant clarion stung,

Woke; and methought there moved that arch toward

A Roman triumph. Lance and helm and sword

Glittered; white coursers tramped and trumpets rung:

Last came, car-borne amid a captive throng,

The laurelled son of Rome’s imperial lord.

As though by wings of unseen eagles fanned

The Conqueror’s cheek, when first that arch he saw,

Burned with the flush he strove in vain to quell.

Titus! a loftier arch than thine hath spanned

Rome and the world with empery and law;

Thereof each stone was hewn from Israel!