Robert Charles Howard
Vesuvius - Poem by Robert Charles Howard
(Plaster cast at Pompeii)
[THE TOUR GUIDE]
“Ladies and gentlemen, here we are at Pompeii's
fabled Thermal Baths where heated water was
passed through duct work in the walls. One can
imagine Nero himself stopping here on one of
Benito stepped out of the bathhouse and looked up.
Vesuvius rumbled - shaking ash and fire skyward.
Breaking into a run he sought the south road,
Glancing anxiously over his shoulder
At the vast dark cloud billowing down the mountain.
'The principal roads through the city were recessed
And wagons were required to have standardized
wheelbases and clearances to fit in channels cut
into the stone. Follow me please to the residential
He gained the road and his feet
Pounded the stones of the “via stabiana.”
The cloud multiplied and fell on the city.
Ever deepening layers of ash clogged Benito’s path.
Heart pounding in his chest he lengthened his strides.
“Leaving the opulent villas with their spacious
atria, we now enter the market area where we
shall see a display of remarkable interest. During
excavations, empty spaces were discovered in
the ash deposits.”
The rising ash captured his left leg.
Benito inhaled the fiery air and thrust
Forward into a burst of falling soot.
But was unable to finish his stride.
“Archaeologists poured plaster into the voids
revealing the outlined bodies of Pompeiins trapped
in their final moments. Take for example this man
caught in mid-step with no time to escape the life
Comments about Vesuvius by Robert Charles Howard
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