Thursday, October 13, 2005

O Rome! my country! city of the soul!

Husband #2 is on a plane and starting his weekend in Rome.
He's been granted access to the collection at the Keats-Shelley house.

And I'm jealous :)

I was trying to think of something that would equate-
Working all day, then hopping a plane and being in another country by dinner time.
I suppose the closest I could do would be to fly to San Francisco for the night.
Just not nearly as interesting, exciting, or captivating.

It's not as though I'd be able to spend any time with him while there anyway.
He's going to be out of his mind, silly-happy reading old letters, manuscripts, and taking notes, while I'd be left in the city on my own.

Of course...
Rome is filled with great shoe stores.

"Quanto e pattini?"

First thing I learned in Italian :)
BEFORE learning to ask where the bathroom was.
Sometimes I'm such a silly girl.

So I'm in for a weekend of non-distraction.
He's off to Rome,
Saryn is off to San Jose,
and I've no idea what sort of mischief I can find for myself.

Byron, George Gordon, Lord (1788-1824)

O Rome! my country! city of the soul!
The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
Lone mother of dead empires! and control
In their shut breasts their petty misery.
What are our woes and sufferance? Come and see
The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, Ye!
Whose agonies are evils of a day--
A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.

The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
An empty urn within her withered hands,
Whose holy dust was scattered long ago;
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.

The Goth, the Christian, Time, War, Flood, and Fire,
Have dealth upon the seven-hilled city's pride;
She saw her glories star by star expire,
And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
Where the car climbed the Capitol; far and wide
Temple and tower went down, nor left a site:
Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
O'er the dim fragments cast a lunar light,
And say, "here was, or is," where all is doubly night!

The double night of ages, and of her,
Night's daughter, Ignorance, hath wrapt and wrap
All round us: we but feel our way to err:
The ocean hath its chart, the stars their map,
And Knowledge spreads them on her ample lap;
But Rome is as the desert, where we steer
Stumbling o'er recollections; now we clap
Our hands, and cry "Eureka!" it is clear--
When but some false mirage of ruin rises near.

Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
Alas for Tully's voice, and Vergil's lay,
And Livy's pictured page!--but these shall be
Her resurrection; all beside--decay.
Alas, for Earth, for never shall we see,
That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome
Was free!


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