Edwin Arlington Robinson

(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

Villanelle of Change


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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