Temple of Zeus

Nicholas Michell

What lofty columns near Ilissus' stream
Tower o'er each wreck, and glitter in the beam?
Temple of Jove ! around thy ruined site
Dogs lurk by day, the owlet hoots by night;
Where kings and heroes wont deep awe to feel,
Not one poor trembler now is found to kneel
But pass we other scenes, where living men
Have reared their homes — yes, Athens lives again,
Called from the gloom of strong Oppression's grave,
No more the Moslem's scorn, the tyrant's slave.

Author's Note: Sixteen Corinthian columns, sixty feet high, and six and a-half feet in diameter, between the Ilissus and the modern walls, mark the site of the once magnificent temple of Jupiter Olympius. These vast columns are conspicuous from every part of Athens; the original number was 128.

Some of the great pillars of the Temple of Olympian Zeus still stand in Athens.