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Epitaph To Rome
MSS (1550 - 1581 / Poland)

Epitaph To Rome

Poem By Mikolaj Sep Szarzynski

If midst Rome you wish to see Rome, pilgrim,
Tho in Rome naught of Rome might you see,
Behold the walls' ring, the theatres, temples
And ruptured pillars, to rubble all turned,
Rome be these! Mark how the corpse of a city
So strong still past fortune's pomp exudes;
Subduing a world, herself the city subdued
Lest yet more to subdue might there be.
Today in broken Rome, Rome unbroken
(A substance in its shadow) lies entombed.
Within all's changed; alone past change
Tiber remains, that to sea runs mixed with sand.
See what Fortune plays: 'tis wasted away,
What was unmoving; what moved, yet remains.

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Other poems of MIKOLAJ SEP SZARZYNSKI (14)

Comments (1)

This sonnet is, more than an original poem, a translation of a sonnet by Joachim du Bellay (Nouveau venu, qui cherches Rome en Rome...) . There is also a Spanish version from the same period by Francisco de Quevedo (Buscas en Roma a Roma, oh peregrino...)