Juvenal at Syene

Thomas Gold Appleton

Here at the utmost bound of Roman power,   
Thy prison walls the Arabian Libyan waste,   
Slave over slaves, thy tyrant bade thee cower,   
Even by the soldier’s office more disgraced,   
Eating thy indignant heart out through each hour,           
And every drop of Exile’s chalice taste.   
  Take comfort, noble heart, for while the hand   
Which held thee loosens in the charnel’s dust,   
That shameless forehead bears its eternal brand   
Yet in thy living page, and cruelty’s lust           
Cut into deathless adamant shall stand,—   
So that Oblivion spare its pitying rust,—   
But thy name, brightening through these Christian years,   
Virtue shall speak it but with grateful tears.

Syene is an old name for the modern city of Aswan in Egypt. The Roman poet Juvenal died in Aswan in exile.

Main Location:

Aswan, Egypt

The River Nile at Aswan in Egypt