Palmyra (2nd edn 1812)
Thomas Love Peacock [extract]
So swift is Time's colossal stride
Above the wrecks of human pride.
These temples, awful in decay,
Whose ancient splendor half endures,
These arches, dim in parting day,
These dust-defiled entablatures,
These shafts, whose prostrate pride around
The desert-weed entwines its wreath,
These capitals, that strew the ground,
Their shattered colonnades beneath,
These pillars, white in lengthening files,
Grey tombs, and broken peristyles,
May yet, through many an age, retain
The pomp of Thedmor's wasted reign.
But Time still shakes, with giant-tread,
The marble city of the dead,
That crushed at last, a shapeless heap,
Beneath the drifted sands shall sleep.