James Elroy Flecker
They will trample our gardens to mire, they will bury our city in fire;
Our women await their desire, our children the clang of the chain.
Our grave-eyed judges and lords they will bind by the neck with cords,
And harry with whips and swords till they perish of shame or pain,
And the great lapis lazuli dome where the gods of our race had a home
Will break like a wave from the foam, and shred into fiery rain.
No more on the long summer days shall we walk in the meadow-sweet ways
With the teachers of music and phrase, and the masters of dance and design.
No more when the trumpeter calls shall we feast in the white-light halls;
For stayed are the soft footfalls of the moon-browed bearers of wine,
And lost are the statues of Kings and of Gods with great glorious wings,
And an empire of beautiful things, and the lips of the love who was mine.
We have vanished, but not into night, though our manhood we sold to delight,
Neglecting the chances of fight, unfit for the spear and the bow.
We are dead, but our living was great: we are dumb, but a song of our State
Will roam in the desert and wait, with its burden of long, long ago,
Till a scholar from sea-bright lands unearth from the years and the sands
Some image with beautiful hands, and know what we want him to know.