On the Acropolis

That strength and delicacy should yet remain
in these old portals and this chopped-off frieze;
that all below still lie as they have lain,
talking to the Aegean, rising again,
people of Athens, buildings and dark trees,
still laughing at the centuries’ demise
(as the stone maidens gossip in the rain);
that this old hill is gentle as the breeze

that meant so much to Europe as it blew
and gave a form of thought, of state, of art
to those it freshened … that these pillars knew
different religions, sightseers … still they chart
a lasting sky-floor … this gold, then, has gone
into the city of the Parthenon.

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