Heroic Epitaphs


In the West: Romulus Augustulus


The world ends in lost places, and the geese

Step through the ruins of eternal peace:

Near Baiae, near the heated plunges, he,

Dislaurelled, glimmers into history.


          In the East: Constantine XI


The stars that burned at Troy burn here tonight;

The city falls, all palaces alight;

Aeneas sees the finish to his work:

Pale Caesar dead, and Brutus spurred, the Turk.