Sicily        

 
The coins here are works of art:

Drachmas and staters, set apart,

These silver circles gleam again,

Almost bring back Hellenic man

To Syracuse. At Akragas

The gilded temples, wreathed with grass,

Sing to the sea in broken lines.

Segesta’s valley still defines

Perfection in a Doric mode,

As though a new Pindaric ode

Suddenly were known. The charioteer

Stands now in Delphi; there his clear

Eyes gaze across museum rooms;

While here the grecian face assumes

Praxitelean gentleness.

But beauty, strength, and all success

Soon fail. Why write the poems that must

Be lost in pale papyrus dust?

Heaven commands. Always the sea

Surrounds the island. Always the

Silver dolphin, youth astride,

Pays out the past, a poet’s guide,

And bronzes, drowned in green, await discovery.