Debits and Credits, by Rudyard Kipling

The Survival

HORACE, Ode 22, Bk. V

SECURELY, after days
 Unnumbered, I behold
Kings mourn that promised praise
 Their cheating bards foretold.
Of earth-constricting wars.
 Of Princes passed in chains.
Of deeds out-shining stars.
 No word or voice remains.
Yet furthest times receive.
 And to fresh praise restore.
Mere flutes that breathe at eve.
 Mere seaweed on the shore;
A smoke of sacrifice;
 A chosen myrtle-wreath;
An harlot’s altered eyes;
 A rage ‘gainst love or death;
Glazed snow beneath the moon;
 The surge of storm-bowed trees —
The Caesars perished soon.
 And Rome Herself: But these
Endure while Empires fall
 And Gods for Gods make room . . .
Which greater God than all
 Imposed the amazing doom?

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38