Samuel Rogers

(30 July 1763 – 18 December 1855)

Italy : 34. The Roman Pontiffs - Poem by Samuel Rogers

Those ancient men, what were they, who achieved
A sway beyond the greatest conquerors;
Setting their feet upon the necks of kings,
And, through the world, subduing, chaining down
The free, immortal spirit? Were they not
Mighty magicians? Theirs a wondrous spell,
Where true and false were the infernal art
Close-interwoven; where together met
Blessings and curses, threats and promises;
And with the terrors of Futurity
Mingled whate'er enchants and fascinates,
Music and painting, sculpture, rhetoric,
And dazzling light and darkness visible,
And architectural pomp, such as none else!
What in his day the Syracusan sought,
Another world to plant his engines on,
They had; and, having it, like gods not men
Moved this world at their pleasure. Ere they came,
Their shadows, stretching far and wide, were known;
And Two, that looked beyond the visible sphere,
Gave notice of their coming -- he who saw
The Apocalypse; and he of elder time,
Who in an awful vision of the night
Saw the Four Kingdoms. Distant as they were,
Those holy men, well might they faint with fear!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 3, 2010



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