Nicholas Michell

But South the pilgrim speeds; Ionia's hills
Vanish in mists, like joys that yield to ills;
Still seeking ruins, round his eye is cast;
Now Bodrum's walls he wanders slowly past;
The Turkish crescent gleams, the guns look down —
How changed in all that once-famed classic town!
Yet mark yon fort; there marbles rent and worn,
Sculptured with forms that ancient robes adorn,
Speak of a gorgeous tomb, and darkly tell
Affection's tale, nought else can breathe so well.
Here stood that pile an Eastern queen upreared,
Tribute to one a husband's love endeared.
To baffle crushing Time, and dazzle still,
Wealth gave his splendour, Science plied her skill;
It rose in air, its matchless sculptures done,
Crowned with winged horses flashing in the sun;
But ah! doth sounder now the monarch sleep?
Doth she who mourned his doom forget to weep?
Go, as pale evening calms the Western wave,
See Artemisia near that fabric rave!
Sadly and slow she treads the moonlight shore,
Recalls his looks, his voice, to charm no more,
Begs of the gods, in agonising prayer,
His dear bless'd shade to see one moment there.
Now through that door where lamps of silver gleam,
Behold her move, like some sad restless dream!
Gemmed floors below, and golden roofs on high,
No pleasure wake in that pale languid eye;
She thought by this display to soothe her grief,
But breaking hearts in pomp find no relief.

Bodrum is the ancient Halicarnassus, site of the famed Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Check out Kieron Winn's poem about relics from the Mausoleum in the British Museum.