(Quevedo, Mire los muros de la partia mia and
Buscas en Roma a Roma, (!)O peregrino!)
I saw the musty shingles of my house,
raw wood and fixed once, now a wash of moss
eroded by the ruin of age
furning all fair and green things into waste.
I climbed the pasture. I saw the dim sun drink
the ice just thawing from the boldered fallow,
woods crowd the foothills, sieze last summer’s field,
and higher up, the sickly cattle bellow.
I went into my house. I saw how dust
and ravel had devoured its furnishing;
even my cane was withered and more bent,
even my sword was coffined up in rust-
there was no hilt left for the hand to try.
Everything ached, and told me I must die.
You search in Rome for Rome? O Traveller!
in Rome itself, there is no room for Rome,
the Aventine is its own mound and tomb,
only a corpse recieves the worshipper.
And where the Capitol once crowned the forum,
are medals ruined by the hands of time;
they show how more was lost by chance and time
the Hannibal or Ceasar could consume.
The Tiber flows still, but its waste laments
a city that has fallen in its grave-
each wave’s a woman beating at her breast.
O Rome! Form all you palms, dominion, bronze
and beauty, what was firm has fled. What once
was fugitive maintains its permenance.