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

Rome, the Campagna

The Tomb of Cecilia Metella

By Elizabeth Stoddard (1823–1902)

STOP on the Appian Way,

In the Roman Campania.

Stop at my tomb,

The tomb of Cecilia Metella:

To-day, as you see it,

Alaric saw it ages ago

When he, with his pale-visaged Goths,

Sat at the gates of Rome,

Reading his Runic shield.

Odin! thy curse remains.

Beneath these battlements

My bones were stirred with Roman pride,

Though centuries before my Romans died.

Now my bones are dust, the Goths are dust,

The river-bed is dry where sleeps the king:

My tomb remains.

When Rome commanded the earth.

Great were the Metelli.

I was Metella’s wife:

I loved him,—and I died.

Then with slow patience built he this memorial.

Each century marks his love.

Pass by on the Appian Way

The tomb of Cecilia Metella:

Wild shepherds alone seek its shelter,

Wild buffaloes tramp at its base,—

Deep is its desolation,

Deep as the shadow of Rome.