The Fall of Rome - W.H. Auden
The Fall of Rome - W.H. Auden stories
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(for Cyril Connolly) The piers are pummeled by the waves;
Source: ewokalypse https://www.reddit.com/r/...

The Fall of Rome - W.H. Auden

by ewokalypse

(for Cyril Connolly)

The piers are pummeled by the waves;

In a lonely field the rain

Lashes an abandoned train;

Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

 

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;

Agents of the Fisc pursue

Absconding tax-defaulters through

The sewers of provincial towns.

 

Private rites of magic send

The temple prostitutes to sleep;

All the literati keep

An imaginary friend.

 

Cerebrotonic Cato may

Extol the Ancient Disciplines,

But the muscle-bound Marines

Mutiny for food and pay.

 

Caesar's double-bed is warm

As an unimportant clerk

Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK

On a pink official form.

 

Unendowed with wealth or pity,

Little birds with scarlet legs,

Sitting on their speckled eggs,

Eye each flu-infected city.

 

Altogether elsewhere, vast

Herds of reindeer move across

Miles and miles of golden moss,

Silently and very fast.

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