Villanelle Of Change

Poem By Edwin Arlington Robinson

Since Persia fell at Marathon,
The yellow years have gathered fast:
Long centuries have come and gone.

And yet (they say) the place will don
A phantom fury of the past,
Since Persia fell at Marathon;

And as of old, when Helicon
Trembled and swayed with rapture vast
(Long centuries have come and gone),

This ancient plain, when night comes on,
Shakes to a ghostly battle-blast,
Since Persia fell at Marathon.

But into soundless Acheron
The glory of Greek shame was cast:
Long centuries have come and gone,

The suns of Hellas have all shone,
The first has fallen to the last: --
Since Persia fell at Marathon,
Long centuries have come and gone.

Comments about Villanelle Of Change

A perfectly structured villanelle, a role model for modern writers. A great moment in Greek history, to win the battle at Marathon. Fine connotations, too, of the marathon race.
The very pleasing poem for a change


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52 total ratings

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We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

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The Deacon thought. “I know them,” he began,
“And they are all you ever heard of them—
Allurable to no sure theorem,
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We parted where the old gas-lamp still burned
Under the wayside maple and walked on,
Into the dark, as we had always done;
And I, no doubt, if he had not returned,

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When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

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Strange that I did not know him then.
That friend of mine!
I did not even show him then
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Ballad Of Dead Friends

As we the withered ferns
By the roadway lying,
Time, the jester, spurns
All our prayers and prying --