On the Palatine

On the Palatine

A Poem by Deidre
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A nostalgic poem about ancient Rome.

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On the Palatine I crept up and wept
Over the sorry sight my eyes beheld.
O’ Rome, o’ Rome where have ye gone?
Has this envious world reduced you to null?
Where is your Caesar? Where is the forum?
That we may judge the culprit of your dolour?
Where is the arena? Where are its crowds? 
That his blood may be spilt on its grounds?
Oh eternal, oh divine,
I am not the Augustus you prophesize
But with my humble muse and loyal lyre
Might I reprieve you from the dire?
Come now, forget the Goths, denounce the cross,
And let’s recall the golden age of gods.
A time when ye Rome were a city sublime,
Your columns and temples kissing your skies.
Mosaic and sculpture adorned your halls
And triumphal arches lined your sacred road.
The pantheon like a second sun shone
On an earthly Olympus, a godly trove,
And the coliseum ablaze with games
Shook to its base with mirth and wails;
The circus Maximus at deadly pace
had charioteer and stallion race to their fate;
and the rostrum with its rhetorical lore
wielded the will of a people to and fro,
while the Curia in ferocious debate
decided the destiny of the race.
A time when ye, Rome, were queen of the world
Presiding over Spaniard, Greek and Gaul.
Plutarch and Pliny declaimed your name
And awe Caesar every tongue would hail.
Remember the conquest of the Gallic tribes
And that first step on Britannic isles
Or the siege round the walls of Zion
That ended the temple and its riots;
Carthage the name you crushed to dust
when Hannibal ventured to call your bluff;
And the wars against the son of Mithras
who sought to restore a Sparta by past?
Now behold ye the roman triumph
That followed with feast and illustrious pomp.
From the arch of Titus to the Capitoline
The victors marched to the beat of drums and cries.
Oh Fortuna, oh victoria
What nation ever caused you such euphoria?
Save that of the heirs of Aeneas
The pious prince and Trojan genius.
O’ Romulus, son of Venus and mars
Who claimed this hill with sweat and blood,
Did you know you were creating an empire uncurbed?
Did you know you were building the walls of the world?
Julius, father of the fatherland,
 Won’t you rise from the ashes to reign with high hand?
For your victory is sweet, your command sublime
And your caress softer than the lulling Nile.
Augustus, you clothed Rome in marble and gold
And to initiate peace you were so bold.
With artistic cunning and humble poise
You rose to become first man in Rome.
Hadrian, the man after my own heart,
You lover of verse, wisdom and mankind;
The ardent wanderer and Diana’s pride;
The saviour of the Hellenic shrine.
Oh Rome I wonder how it could be
That they call you tyrant, raider and thief.
After all you’ve toiled, after all you’ve appeased
 History only records your darkest deeds.
Alas you are but a beauty so fine
In the eyes of a poet such as I.
You’re a universal union, a transcendent awe
A beacon of light in humanity’s yore.
Yet who am I to serenade you with sweet words
A poor provincial submissive to your sword?
On this hill I cannot but prostrate
And a libation of ink dedicate
To Apollo, Roma and mighty Jove
Whom I dare not praise, I can only compose.

So sing again O’ Vestal virgins,

 Lo legions rise up and roar!

To the glory that once and will always be

The senate and people of Rome.

© 2017 Deidre


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Added on June 28, 2017
Last Updated on June 28, 2017
Tags: nostalgia, Rome, history, Caesar, empire, poet, muse

Author

Deidre
Deidre

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Hi there and welcome to my profile! I am a nineteen year old medical student who is equally in love with the sciences and the arts. Talk about love triangles,eh? I am an avid fan of fantasy/sci-fi n.. more..

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