Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Rome: At The Pyramid Of Cestius. (Near The Graves Of Shelley & Keats)

Poem by Thomas Hardy

Who, then, was Cestius,
And what is he to me? -
Amid thick thoughts and memories multitudinous
One thought alone brings he.

I can recall no word
Of anything he did;
For me he is a man who died and was interred
To leave a pyramid

Whose purpose was exprest
Not with its first design,
Nor till, far down in Time, beside it found their rest
Two countrymen of mine.

Cestius in life, maybe,
Slew, breathed out threatening;
I know not. This I know: in death all silently
He does a kindlier thing,

In beckoning pilgrim feet
With marble finger high
To where, by shadowy wall and history-haunted street,
Those matchless singers lie . . .

--Say, then, he lived and died
That stones which bear his name
Should mark, through Time, where two immortal Shades abide;
It is an ample fame.


Comments about Rome: At The Pyramid Of Cestius. (Near The Graves Of Shelley & Keats) by Thomas Hardy

  • P. Clapp (5/25/2019 8:01:00 PM)

    This month, my wife and I took a road trip through the South, visiting Civil Rights museums and sites. In Selma, I walked across the Edmund Pettis bridge, and I thought of this poem. Pettis must have been well-known for something in his time, but now, no one remembers him for anything except it was starting on his bridge that ML King let the march to Montgomery - beaten back the first time, successful the second. Edmund Pettis = Cestius.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (9/14/2015 10:33:00 AM)

    same poem as on the previous page.....(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: history, alone, death, time, memory



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



[Report Error]