Nicholas Michell

Fair Mexico, that, trembling in her chains,
Saw ruthless strangers waste her peaceful plains,
Where are the stately domes she reared of old,
Her terraced shrines that blazed with gems and gold?
Where her white-feathered chiefs that lined each steep,
Like foamy waves which crest the breezy deep?
Alas! her tale is traced in tears and flame;
Let History blush to write a Cortes' name;
Lo! where the fires ascend from yonder vale!
Ye hear the stake-bound victims' dying wail.
Doth not a groan each turf-clad barrow yield,
From those who fell on red Otumba's field?
While on each murmuring wind that wanders by,
Floats royal Montezuma's fruitless sigh.
But long ere these fair realms to Cortes bowed,
Or reigned the Aztec, rose the structures proud
Which, more than tomb or temple, form a chain
That links the land to climes beyond the main.
Ah! many a secret of old days lies hid
Beneath the ruined moss-clad pyramid!
On Micoat's plain two stately piles are seen,
Sacred to day's grand orb and night's fair queen,
While north and south less towering structures sweep,
Where chiefs, perchance, and lowlier subjects sleep:
So on far Nubia's waste, on Gizeh's sand,
Small cone-shaped tombs around the mightier stand.

The great pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan, with its massive pyramids of the Sun and Moon, lies not far from Mexico City. its ruins date to the time of the Toltec civilization, hundreds of years before the Aztecs came to Mexico.

Main Location:

Teotihuacan, Mexico