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Rom: On the Palatine

 We walked where Victor Jove was shrined awhile, 
And passed to Livia's rich red mural show, 
Whence, thridding cave and Criptoportico, 
We gained Caligula's dissolving pile.
And each ranked ruin tended to beguile The outer sense, and shape itself as though It wore its marble hues, its pristine glow Of scenic frieze and pompous peristyle.
When lo, swift hands, on strings nigh over-head, Began to melodize a waltz by Strauss: It stirred me as I stood, in Caesar's house, Raised the old routs Imperial lyres had led, And blended pulsing life with lives long done, Till Time seemed fiction, Past and Present one.

Poem by Thomas Hardy
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