Come to the Old World: with our buried books,
Our library towers Alexandrian,
Burnt. Our ruins around us, castle rooks
Of thought arising to the northern skies,
Disintegrating. Once, we worshipped kings,
War-anointed gods Antlantean;
We once kept court, and wrote out comedies
Of broken hearts, to play our lovers’ strings.
Our royal gardens overgrown, our fools
No longer dance in private palaces:
No longer do the weary drag their tools.
We are the republic of those former crowns.
Come to the wreckage of this fine Old World.
Come watch our mystery plays and malices,
Where Clio sang her first and final word
Down winding stones in all our winding towns.
Our seas are olive-salted, and our wines
Are aged like an exquisite manuscript.
And if you taste the dust in spoken lines,
And long for skies in lapis lazuli,
Come share a glass of vintage, and unweb
The cellars where our histories are kept.
We’ll drink as westward glories softly ebb
From our Old World, where it was sweet to die.