Richard Chenebix Trench

(1807-1886 / Ireland)

The Etrurian King - Poem by Richard Chenebix Trench

I.
One only eye beheld him in his pride,
The old Etrurian monarch, as he died;

II.
And as they laid him on his bier of stone,
Shield, spear, and arrows laying at his side;

III.
In golden armour with his crown of gold,
One only eye the kingly warrior spied;

IV.
Nor that eye long--for in the common air
The wondrous pageant might not now abide,

V.
Which had in sealèd sepulchre the wrongs
Of time for thirty centuries defied.

VI.
That eye beheld it melt and disappear,
As down an hour-glass the last sand-drops glide.

VII.
A few short moments,--and a shrunken heap
Of common dust survived, of all that pride:

VIII.
And so that gorgeous vision had remained
For evermore to other eye denied:

IX.
And he who saw must oftentimes believe
That him his waking senses had belied,

X.
Since what if all the pageants of the earth
Melt soon away, and may not long abide,

XI.
Yet when did ever doom so swift before
Even to the glories of the earth betide?


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010



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