Nicholas Michell

In tottering Aries, where all things speak of age,
Past days alone the thoughtful heart engage;
The squalid homes, the narrow winding way,
The traveller heeds not, stops not to survey,
But sees in fancy Rome's proud emperors walk
Those mouldered stones, or Gothic heroes stalk:
Still by the Rhone white fluted columns shine,
Where stood thy palace, far-famed Constantine!
And frequent statues, urns, and costly things
From the heaped soil, to light the searcher brings.
Though doomed to uses vile, not yet shall fall
The mighty circle with its arch-pierced wall;
And high that ob'lisk towers which Romans bore,
Ere Christ bless'd Earth, from Egypt's templed shore.