Rome: At the Pyramid of Cestius

(Near The Graves Of Shelley & Keats)

                 Who, then, was Cestius,
                 And what is he to me? —
Amid thick thoughts and memories multitudinous
                 One thought alone brings he.

                 I can recall no word
                 Of anything he did;
For me he is a man who died and was interred
                 To leave a pyramid

                 Whose purpose was exprest
                 Not with its first design,
Nor till, far down in Time, beside it found their rest
                 Two countrymen of mine.

                 Cestius in life, maybe,
                 Slew, breathed out threatening;
I know not. This I know: in death all silently
                 He does a kindlier thing,

                 In beckoning pilgrim feet
                 With marble finger high
To where, by shadowy wall and history-haunted street,
                 Those matchless singers lie . . .

                 —Say, then, he lived and died
                 That stones which bear his name
Should mark, through Time, where two immortal Shades abide;
                 It is an ample fame.

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