poet Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

#6 on top 500 poets

The Coliseum

Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquary
Of lofty contemplation left to Time
By buried centuries of pomp and power!
At length- at length- after so many days
Of weary pilgrimage and burning thirst,
(Thirst for the springs of lore that in thee lie,)
I kneel, an altered and an humble man,
Amid thy shadows, and so drink within
My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!

Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now- I feel ye in your strength-
O spells more sure than e'er Judaean king
Taught in the gardens of Gethsemane!
O charms more potent than the rapt Chaldee
Ever drew down from out the quiet stars!

Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!
Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,
A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat!
Here, where the dames of Rome their gilded hair
Waved to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle!
Here, where on golden throne the monarch lolled,
Glides, spectre-like, unto his marble home,
Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,
The swift and silent lizard of the stones!

But stay! these walls- these ivy-clad arcades-
These moldering plinths- these sad and blackened shafts-
These vague entablatures- this crumbling frieze-
These shattered cornices- this wreck- this ruin-
These stones- alas! these grey stones- are they all-
All of the famed, and the colossal left
By the corrosive Hours to Fate and me?

'Not all'- the Echoes answer me- 'not all!
Prophetic sounds and loud, arise forever
From us, and from all Ruin, unto the wise,
As melody from Memnon to the Sun.
We rule the hearts of mightiest men- we rule
With a despotic sway all giant minds.
We are not impotent- we pallid stones.
Not all our power is gone- not all our fame-
Not all the magic of our high renown-
Not all the wonder that encircles us-
Not all the mysteries that in us lie-
Not all the memories that hang upon
And cling around about us as a garment,
Clothing us in a robe of more than glory.'

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Poem Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2012

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

2,9 out of 5
81 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about The Coliseum by Edgar Allan Poe

  • * Sunprincess * (9/15/2015 5:01:00 PM)

    ....very impressive poetic techniques ★

    Report Reply
    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Mark ArvizuMark Arvizu (9/1/2014 11:55:00 AM)

    The memories of The Coliseum are buried by the sands of time, unearthed by the winds of destiny.

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/28/2014 3:24:00 AM)

    You surely know how to wrote, I like each and every poem of yours

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Martin Vorster (2/7/2010 8:26:00 AM)

    It is apparent that Mr Poe was a little more insane then I am.

    Report Reply
    10 person liked.
    8 person did not like.

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: hero, power, magic, strength, fate, silence, sad, hair, moon, wind, home, sun, light, memory, spring, star