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

Rome, Churches of

The Pantheon

By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

SIMPLE, erect, severe, austere, sublime,—

Shrine of all saints, and temple of all gods,

From Jove to Jesus,—spared and blest by time;

Looking tranquillity, while falls or nods

Arch, empire, each thing round thee, and man plods

His way through thorns to ashes,—glorious dome!

Shalt thou not last? Time’s scythe and tyrants’ rods

Shiver upon thee,—sanctuary and home

Of art and piety,—Pantheon!—pride of Rome!

Relic of nobler days and noblest arts!

Despoiled yet perfect, with thy circle spreads

A holiness appealing to all hearts,—

To art a model; and to him who treads

Rome for the sake of ages, Glory sheds

Her light through thy sole aperture; to those

Who worship, here are altars for their beads;

And they who feel for genius may repose

Their eyes on honored forms, whose busts around them close.