Poems: Old and New

by Frederick George Scott


 

ROME.


 

IMPERIAL city, slumb’ring on the throne
   Of vanished empire, once thy voice and hands
   Rocked the wide world; thy fingers wove the lands
Into thy girdle; who for crown alone
Didst wear the stars. Yet still in undertone
5
   Man hears thy deathless utterance, though Time’s sands
    Roll centuries; thou clasp’st the earth with bands
Of speech, art, law, and subtle powers unknown.

Thou wast not meant to die; thy mighty heart
   Pulsed with the universe. Thy deeds of old

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      Flame like the sunset sky through clouds which throng;
They blazon on thy throne a name apart
   In red of mighty victories, in gold
       Of all things valourous and great and strong. [Page 141]