"Villa Pliniana" [poem]
Villa Pliniana a
I love to hear the names of those
Who long ago have past away, 1
Though now their names be drowned by clay. b
And who would stand where they repose,
And look upon their dust, and say
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That this was Trajan, and below
This foot of mine, lies cold and low,
Earth, which compounded long ago
What held the soul of C├Žsar.
How peaceful is the turbulence
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Of spirits, whose high deeds long hence
Shall still be told as now!
How strange those mighty powers that hurled
With change and terror oʼer the world
Should pass away, we know not how!
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That one would wonder how a thing
So temporary, perishing,
Should dare such deeds, or work such change
Iʼ the texture of the world.
There have been many mighty,
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And many more renowned;
The ignoble and the glorious
Are underneath the ground.