Orion, and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts



AT Pozzuoli on the Italian coast
    A ruined temple stands. The thin waves flow
    Upon its marble pavements; and in row
Three columns, last of a majestic host
Which once had heard the haughty Roman’s boast,
    Rise in the mellow air. Long years ago
    The unstable floor sank down. Now from below
The shining flood of sapphire,—like the ghost

Of youth’s bright aspirations and high hopes,
    More real than castles in the air, and laid                                    
On some foundation, though of sand that slopes
    Seaward to lift again,—it comes arrayed
In olive sea-weeds; but a raven mopes
    Upon its topmost stone, and casts a shade.