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Ruins of Rome, Italy

Sonnet by Joachim du Bellay translated by Ezra Pound

O thou new comer who seek'st Rome in Rome
And find'st in Rome no thing thou canst call Roman
Arches worn old and palaces made common,
Rome's name alone within these walls keeps home. 
 
Behold how pride and ruin can befall
One who hath set the whole world 'neath her laws,
All-conquering, now conquered, because
She is Time's prey and Time consumeth all. 
 
Rome that art Rome's one sole last monument,
Rome that alone hast conquered Rome the town,
Tiber alone, transient and seaward bent,
 
Remains of Rome. O world, thou unconstant mime!
That which stands firm in thee Time batters down,
And that which fleeteth doth outrun swift time. 
 

Ezra Pound, Rome, Personae 
 


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